Composting Life

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I was sitting with a 91 year old man yesterday morning. He tried to eat his breakfast as his wife kept pampering him, reminding him to tuck his serviette into his collar. “Here my darling, let me do it, it just keeps falling out and you’re going to ruin your clean shirt.” His long body had begun to stoop like […]

Living despite tears. Living to the point of tears.

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I’ll tell you a little known secret and perhaps save you some disappointment: the idea that psychology can cure the pains of the human heart is mythical. For this reason I envy the achievements of modern medicine. Through good science and thorough practice it has managed to successfully cure many of the physical ills we face. It conquered Smallpox, combated […]

“Life is so”

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Today, Evangalia wore her usual smile as she came walking into our consultation room.  Despite her stroke, she carries herself like a retired ballerina.  Not as capable as she might have always been, yet, so composed.  I was curious about this composure, about the skill she brings to this traumatic life experience she seems to so gracefully endure.  I turned […]

The necessity of madness in the story of surviving spinal cord injury

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“Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and malign. But stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of the people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.” – Chimamanda Adichie (Nigerian novelist) There is a burgeoning approach to clients seeking medical care that upholds the view that […]

Truth vs Hope

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Lately, colleagues and I have been debating the issue of “prognosis”. More specifically, when it comes to people with severe illnesses or injuries, in a physical rehabilitation setting: how, when and if we should communicate “prognosis” to them? There seem to be two camps of thinking when it comes to this. On the one hand, there are those who feel […]

You are not Your Illness

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Taking the “fall” for Parkinson’s. One of the most challenging aspects of doing psychology in a physical rehabilitation setting is that you are often faced with problems for which there is very little “cure”.  There are many illnesses that, unfortunately, are slow, persistent and sardonic in their deterioration of the nervous system.  The most a psychologist can perhaps hope to […]