New “Narrative Medicine: The Use of History and Story in the Healing Process”

Narrative Medicine: The Use of History and Story in the Healing Process

Seeks to restore the pivotal role of the patient’s own story in the healing process

• Shows how conventional medicine tends to ignore the account of the patient

• Presents case histories where disease is addressed and healed through the narrative process

• Proposes a reinvention of medicine to include the indigenous healing methods that for thousands of years have drawn their effectiveness from telling and listening

Modern medicine, with its high-tech and managed-care approach, has eliminated much of what constitutes the art of healing: those elements of doctoring that go beyond the medications prescribed. The typically brief office visit leaves little time for doctors to listen to the

List Price: $ 22.00

Price: $ 10.75




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This entry was posted on Monday, October 17th, 2011 at 2:52 am and is filed under Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Comments

  1. Nancy L. Howe "survivor and cancer researcher" says:
    17 of 18 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Not a “tool” like narrative therapy: this is a new way of seeing., April 6, 2008
    This review is from: Narrative Medicine: The Use of History and Story in the Healing Process (Paperback)

    Narrative Medicine is a radical critique of conventional medicine in which Mehl-Madrona, M.D., Ph.D. challenges the knowledge system that physicians, especially psychiatrists, use to diagnose illness and direct treatment. Mehl-Madrona’s writing style is straight-forward and concrete, enlivened with his skillful use of patient stories and historical examples drawn from his years in practice and as a professor of medicine, currently at University of Saskatchewan and before that, University of Arizona. He traces the philosophical roots of western medicine’s fundamental axioms that disease can be understood with a mechanistic, biological model alone, and that valid medical solutions must generalize to a large population. Mehl-Madrona uses clinical experiences, recent research in physics, and advances in post-modern philosophy to underscore how these medical truths are, in themselves, a story. “Narrative therapy,” as described by more than 200 Amazon authors, is promoted as an effective tool to be added to the physician’s standard repertoire. Narrative medicine, by contrast, is not a tool; it is a way of seeing. In Mehl-Madrona’s experience, storytelling is transformative, capable of promoting healing as a consequence of the interplay between teller and listeners.

    As a cancer researcher, I found that Narrative Medicine held the key to understanding interviews I conducted with ovarian cancer survivors. I had asked these women to tell me how they learned of their diagnosis. What they told me were stories of how their illness had changed their self-understanding. For most, their interactions with the medical community had been frustrating and fragmented. They described being shuttled back and forth among a variety of experts (e.g., nephrologists, internists, and GI specialists), few of whom had the time or patience to listen when the women attempted to describe how their symptoms had unfolded. For all of them, the diagnostic process was frightening and disheartening.

    My colleague found that Mehl-Madrona’s analysis of bi-polar disorder and the current predominance of the biochemical explanation mirrored her experience. As a “non-responder” to standard medications, her hopes for relief had been undermined by the prevailing view that bi-polar disorder is a life-long biochemical imbalance for which drugs are the only effective treatment. “What I do now to help myself includes many of the approaches contained in the healing stories in Narrative Medicine,” she told me. “Like Mehl-Madrona says, my solution is particular and works for me; other people in my support group find that their stories spur them to actions that are very different from mine, but equally helpful. Narrative Medicine gave me a new understanding of why that might be.”

    For a single text — and a paperback at that! — to accomplish both these tasks is testimony to the breadth of application available to the reader who is open to Narrative Medicine’s premise.

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    ... on July October 17th, 2011
  2. Stuart Dole says:
    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Not as good as “Coyote Medicine”, July 27, 2009
    By 
    Stuart Dole (Santa Rosa, CA United States) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(http://www.amazon.com/gp/community-help/amazon-verified-purchase/189-4462378-6780516', ‘AmazonHelp’, ‘width=400,height=500,resizable=1,scrollbars=1,toolbar=0,status=1′);return false; “>What’s this?)
    This review is from: Narrative Medicine: The Use of History and Story in the Healing Process (Paperback)

    The overall tone of this book is plodding and academic, compared to Mehl-Madrona’s “Coyote Medicine”. Either he changed editors or didn’t use one. Not much new material. But this may appeal more to academic types. I much preferred the dynamic personal narrative of the earlier book.

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    ... on July October 17th, 2011
  3. Olivier Clerc says:
    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A major contribution, September 3, 2009
    By 
    Olivier Clerc (France) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Narrative Medicine: The Use of History and Story in the Healing Process (Paperback)

    This book goes way beyond giving us a new understanding of medicine and the power of story in healing. It provides us with incredible insight into this too often untapped (or unconsciously tapped) power to create stories out of what we live, what we perceive, to give meaning to our lives.
    There are major parallels to draw between Dr Mehl-Madrona’s books and Viktor Frankl’s work, and his “logotherapy”. Frankl helped his patients find meaning (logos) in their lives, and so does Lewis Mehl-MAdrona, but by using a different approach.
    As compared to previous books, “Narrative Medicine” allows readers to have a much deeper understanding of the workings of this medicine. It gets to the very principles of the power of stories.
    It is not always an easy book, but it is undoubtedly a major one, a reference book, to be read, re-read and considered : there is much to me learned from it !

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    ... on July October 17th, 2011