“Life is so”

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Injury and Illness, Uncategorized

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

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Injury and Illness, Uncategorized, What is Therapy

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 […]

Locked In

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Injury and Illness

I was surprised, when opening the Mail & Guardian this weekend, to find a story titled “Locked in a coma for 23 years” (see online version here).  It speaks about a man, Rom Houben, who was apparently thought to have been in a coma for the last 23 years.  The headline for the story is a bit misleading as the […]

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 […]