I plan to respond to all the intriguing comments that have recently been posted about loneliness, aloneness, marriage conditions, and happiness. I have been trying to organize my thoughts so I can manage a cogent reply.
Until I get that together, I wanted to post another article I read in the NYTimes that says so much that I find important, for our discussion of the show and in general. Please read
First of all, for many years my contention has been that doctors can learn from not only the stories their patients tell, but also from stories told by highly observant writers. My literary studies have focused on 19th century literature where, I believe, we can find all sorts of perceptive work on disorders that were unnamed at the time. Many writers described signs and symptoms of nascent and previously unrecognized conditions that have now become well defined.
Secondly, the article makes a strong case for listening to patients and using anecdotal evidence as a means of transferring meaningful data to other doctors. I am excited that the NEJM published a report that stated “stories are better at capturing a different type of ‘big picture.'” I would apply this dictum to the show by drawing analogies among the stories we hear, read, or view on TV. We can learn from the examples of various conditions referred to on this show. The main thrust of the show is not to inform about medical problems; however, all of us are expanding our knowledge of these sorts of issues as its audience. We are also better able to grasp all of this information because of how it’s delivered. And that includes what we’ve been discussing recently about mid-life concerns.
Moreover, the article mentions the subject of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and how it has become a popular treatment protocol. What Kramer argues is that change can come from listening to case vignettes and from including stories in the overall treatment plan. We know that CBT was used with Mrs. T and probably Joe Penhale. There’s no question that it can be very effective, but I like the idea of integrating storytelling with other forms of psychotherapy. I also like how this article dovetails with our discussion of what might happen in counseling sessions that Martin and Louisa may participate in. Their stories are what the show is about, and we have yet to really hear them.
Originally posted 2014-10-19 15:35:10.