The Healing Narrative – Choosing a Story that Heals

Faced with the grief that inevitably accompanies loss – whether due to illness, injury, death or departure of a loved one or any other trauma, what is the story we choose to tell, and how and why do we tell it? Do we tell a story of resistance, victimhood, blame and guilt that relentlessly revisits the trauma – what we might call an illness, injury or victim narrative? Or do we tell a story of acceptance, awareness, connection, gratitude and presence – what we’ll call here a healing narrative?

reggie pic1The choices we make and the stories we tell emerge from how we see our lives, and have a powerful impact on what we’ll be able to see and do next. We learn our earliest storytelling predispositions from the narratives our parents, guardians and teachers tell when we’re very young. Having just fallen from the tree and broken our 8-year-old arm, are we confronted with an inquisitorial scolding about carelessness, danger and fear, or are we enveloped in a loving embrace that connects with our pain, creates awareness around the risks of exploring while still accepting the inherent value therein, and expresses gratitude that we are, in fact, all right – albeit with a broken arm. These earliest narratives set a thematic undertone that we may not be aware of for years, if ever.  [Read More]

Creating a Healing Topic

An essential feature that differentiates coaching from medicine is the identification and clarification of a coaching topic.  In Integral Health Coaching, I call this the healing topic.  Whether a patient or client comes in for coaching or for medicine, I always take the time to find and clarify a healing topic.

memory lossHow do we arrive at a healing topic? Through dialogue and discussion.  Most clients see me with a medical condition that is taking their attention, a chief complaint.  The implied understanding is that the goal of our work together is to “remove” the condition or symptoms that are causing pain or limiting health. In a conventional medical setting as well as many health coaching settings, success is removal those complaints- headaches, joint pain, excess weight or smoking, for example—all necessary and good outcomes. Yet notice that these goals are about getting rid of something, without much regard to the  underlying experiences of self that might be wrapped up together with condition. We have all grown up in a medical system committed to reducing pathology with little emphasis on positive health goals.  [Read More]

Safe Drug Disposal Here To Stay

sink-medsWith the US Supreme Court’s final decision not to hear the challenge by the drug industry to the Alameda County Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance, the final chapter of this current discussion comes to a close.  The good news is that the Pharmaceutical Product Stewardship Working Group (PPSWG) has emerged as the primary representative of manufacturers complying with the law through the formation of a third party stewardship organization. On February 23rd, 2015 the Alameda Med-Project LLC’s, Product Stewardship Plan was approved by the Alameda County Environmental Health Department. As of April 15th, 2015, 228 manufacturers were members of PPSWG, accepting the terms of the approved plan.   [Read More]