I am an avid follower of Oliver Sacks’ writings and an admirer of his approach to neurological conditions and human-beings. Here is a talk given recently on ‘narrative and medicine’ emphasising the story that must be told by the patients. All too often there is a lack of time in healthcare for the individual to tell their tale, using their own language and metaphor, or a concern for expressing such language for fear of disbelief.
When talking to a patient and listening to their narrative, I like to create an environment and space for self-expression so that we can understand the heart of the problem
Of course we need the objective information and data but we also must hear the case history and try to bring the two together. One is objective and the other subjective. An excellent paper was recently written on this by Mick Thacker & Lorimer Moseley, both whom have influenced my work and approach greatly – here is the article. Interestingly, Sacks refers to such concepts in his well known book ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat’.