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Psychotherapists treating bodily disease: dreaming or realistic goal for healthcare?

Professor Brian Broom

Western healthcare is seriously limited by pervasive acceptance of dualistic concepts of mind and body, by entrenched scientific industrial ambition, by a monolithic agenda of evidence-based medicine that renders individual data invisible, and by clinical methods centred upon diagnosis rather than persons and persons-in-relationship. There is much research evidence that subjectivity (story) matters in health and disease. Psychoneuroimmunology research, narrative medicine, the new positive psychologies, the research on the health benefits of traditional values, social networks, and occupation, modern concepts of embodied cognition, and renewed interest in the person-to-person elements of the clinician/patient relationship, all point to a gradual closing of the culturally-assumed gap between mind and body. But there is no such gap. Subjectivity and physicality are dimensions of a unitive being, the person, and co-emergent from conception. They do not separate - separation is an observer construction.  

WORLD DREAMING: WORLD CONGRESS FOR PSYCHOTHERAPY
24-28 August 2011 Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
Darling Harbour, Australia.
Visit The World Council for Psychotherapy at http://www.worldpsyche.org

Brian Broom
Brian Broom
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Professor Brian Broom

Professor Brian Broom leads the MindBody Healthcare Post-Graduate Programme in the Department of Psychotherapy at the Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand, and is a Consultant Immunologist at the Department of Immunology, Auckland City Hospital. From 1987 he has combined Psychotherapy and Clinical Immunology in one practice, and it is in this context he observed the frequent relations between physical diseases and patients’ personal ‘stories.’ His first book ‘Somatic Illness and the Patient’s Other Story’ (1997) emphasises ways of bringing ‘story’ into the clinical management of patients with physical illness from both psychotherapy and medical perspectives, and his second book ‘Meaning-full Disease’ (2007) emphasises theoretical issues underpinning mindbody psychotherapy. Recent work has focussed on ‘mindbody co-emergence.’ He has long experience supervising and training psychotherapists and doctors in ‘mindbody’ psychotherapy, and the University programme now extends integrative training to all healthcare disciplines. He is actively involved in research looking at ‘mindbody’ psychotherapy healing processes in the common condition chronic urticaria.

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