ImproveCareNow psychosocial


Scary Stories

“Ill people are more than victims of disease or patients of medicine; they are wounded storytellers.  People tell stories to make sense of their suffering; when they turn their diseases into stories, they find healing.”  James Swanton, in forward to The Wounded Storyteller:  Body, Illness, and Ethics (1997). 

My girls love when I tell them scary stories.  Not the overly gory kind, never with bad endings, but definitely the kind with those spooky “just around the corner” monsters that, in the end, are shrunk, tamed, made nice, or were never really monsters in the first place. 


We Need a Bigger Boat

“But I took my medicine!”

I hear this down the hall from a patient room. I’ve heard this so many times in my work as a psychologist that I immediately begin to assume what is going on in the room. In my mind I imagine the child down the hall is probably being told that labs came back showing little to no medication in her system, even though she’s on a considerable dose for a serious problem. She has been admitted and she’s in bad shape; in lots of pain. The medicine they wanted her to take could help her body get better, or at least keep her problem from getting worse. And she is adamant she has been taking it, perhaps also implying she has been taking it every time she was supposed to take it. And… the doctor or nurse talking to her doesn’t think she is being completely honest. They shake their heads: “But honey, numbers don’t lie.” She then looks to her mother for support but finds, instead, a disapproving look.


Of Villainous Eels and Amazing Strength (or “I’m sexy and I know it!”)

When my daughters were younger, they loved The Little Mermaid, or more specifically the Disney version, with beautiful Ariel, crazy-scary Ursula and, most saliently, her two evil, ever-present eels, Flotsam and Jetsam. In Disney's tale they are menacing, conniving, willing to terrorize beautiful and sweet creatures of the sea. Our girls used to squeal and scream, grabbing my wife and me for safety whenever Flotsam and Jetsam showed up on screen.

 

 


Story of Self | Noel Jacobs

My mother said that when I was in first grade, she knew I would be a psychologist.

I came home from school one day, excited to have my first-grade pictures!  Remember those big sheets that you had to painstakingly cut into little squares? I was proud of my pictures and couldn’t wait to pass them out.


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