Welcome back to the Healing Pain Podcast with Lissanthea Taylor
We have a brand-new topic and expert guest that I’m excited to share with you. We’re discussing the importance of story and narrative medicine and pain care with physiotherapist, Lissanthea Taylor. I love Lissanthea’s work and skillset because she is a triple threat of a physiotherapist who is up to date on the latest pain science and online author who creates meaningful content for people with pain and someone at the forefront of implementing narrative medicine and pain care. She’s also the founding editor of an online platform called PainChats.com and managed communications and media for the University of South Australia’s Pain Revolution. Lissanthea puts her time between clinical work, helping people overcome pain, teaching narrative medicine to professionals, as well as creating easy to access evidence-based online resources for people in pain.
On this episode, you’ll learn all about narrative medicine, why stories matter and are important in pain care, why storytelling has become such a buzzword. What practical things you can do to enhance your ability to hear stories and some of the common misconceptions about the importance of story and healthcare. If you’re interested in learning more about narrative medicine, you can visit Lissanthea’s website which is called NarrativeRx.com. Finally, to support your learning about today’s fresh and new topic, Lissanthea has created a free white paper called Narrative Medicine in Pain Care that you can download. Containing this free white paper is some beginner training about narrative medicine, references to books and other resources about narrative medicine as well as information about Lissanthea’s Facebook page and how you can access the Narrative Medicine in Pain Care pilot program that she’s created. To download this white paper, all you have to do is text the word 154DOWNLOAD to the number 44-222. You can open up a new browser on your computer and type in www.IntegrativePainScienceInstitute.com/154download. Let’s learn all about narrative medicine and pain care with Lissanthea Taylor.
Watch the episode here:
Pain And The Power Of Stories: How To Use Narrative Medicine In Pain Care With Physiotherapist Lissanthea Taylor
Joe, it’s a pleasure to be here.
I’m so happy you’re here. We’ve been talking for so long to do this. I’m excited to talk to you about a topic, which is new to at least the audience of this show. I know it’s a topic that is not covered often in pain care or even in healthcare. You’ve got a lot of great things to share. As the title of our show, people will see it’s about narrative medicine. The best way to start is to tell us all what is narrative medicine.
Narrative medicine, as you alluded to, is something that’s very dear to my heart and something that we’re missing very much both in our medical training and in our experience of healthcare for patients. I’ll stick with the definitions of narrative medicine as I’ve been taught in my studies at Columbia on quoting a narrative medicine teacher, Sayantani DasGupta, who’s one of the teachers there. She says that, “Narrative Medicine is the clinical and scholarly endeavor to honor the role of story in the healing relationship.” They’re beautiful words. It’s training health professionals to radically listen and to close read and hear the difficult stories that we hear in the clinic in pain. We do that through teaching them to read and understand and engage with literary texts.
It’s a crossover. It appeals to me because I’m a bit of a nerdy bookworm. To be able to combine something like my desire to be a reclusive literary professor with the fact that I am a PT is a beautiful match. It’s something that’s so important for us to be able to teach other health professionals. Some of us are good at it, some of us become good over time but it’s such a critically important thing for anyone that’s going to work with people in pain. Having the ability to apply a pedagogy such as Dr. Rita Charon at Columbia University has created. I feel like this is something that the world of pain care needs immensely.
I love when physiotherapists like yourself take that great foundation of physiotherapy and add interesting topics on top of it like narrative medicine to help people with pain. How did you get over to Columbia and study narrative medicine? How did you get into narrative medicine?
The great news is I studied narrative medicine online. If my life would allow me to move to New York City and I’d get to hang out with you more often and go to Broadway shows but I would also study more at Columbia. I’m not afraid of moving across the world. I live in Shanghai anyway. I’d looked at the Master’s program for many years. As a PT, I’ve been a reluctant clinician for a long time. I say that because I never drunk the Kool-Aid. I think of the cracking and whacking. I never believed in what we were doing. I don’t think I’ve ever put a hot pack on a patient. I’ve always wanted to push back and it almost feels like, isn’t it nice that I’ve managed to stay in this clinical career for long enough to this turning point to happen? We’ve got a long way to go. Maybe they’re not giving up. I certainly have jumped in and out of clinical practice. I spent some time working in tech startups in Silicon Valley. I did various other odds and ends but I stayed with pain and pain care and apply different skills to different aspects of the problem. I never went into research myself because I’m not a researcher trying to apply there. Narrative medicine was a perfect application to an area of massive need that I thought I could feel.
Did you fall into it? Were you doing a Google search one day and you found narrative medicine or is someone recommend it? It’s something that can contribute to a physio’s existing skillset.
It was a Google search. I’d been interested in that area. When I was working in tech in the US, I was looking at digital health and innovative areas of healthcare and this move towards humanity in healthcare. I’m not sure where the narrative medicine search came up but it’s always been in my awareness for a long while. When I finally had the ability to jump in on the online course, luckily all my prayers were answered. As I studied through that course, realizing that this is so applicable to what I was seeing in the clinic. Perhaps to my career-long experiences of those patients had treated badly or that came once and never came back to see me and where did I get it so wrong.
All of us that work in pain care have experienced that. The possibility to get it wrong on a story level is so intensely real. We feel it every day. It contributes to some of the difficulty, the burnout, sometimes that feeling of like, “Am I doing something useful here?” For me, narrative medicine filled in the gaps of like, “I might not get it right all of the time but here’s a skill I can learn rather than here’s something I need to experiment with or maybe they’re not my kind of patients, they’re difficult patients.” It’s easy to turn away. It’s easy to stigmatize people if we don’t have to learn and develop skill, which is what narrative medicine is to us in pain care.
You said something that no one has said on this show that I can bring to mind. Someone used the word love, which is hardly ever used on my show because it’s very pain science, pain education, pain psychology oriented. You said, “I wasn’t getting it right, meaning I wasn’t helping people.” First of all, I’m going to be very validating for people who are in pain, who have been to many different types of practitioners including physiotherapists where it hasn’t been a positive experience. It’s important. I want to thank you for acknowledging that. When we relate that to someone’s story and to narrative medicine, where does that start to fit in?
The place that that fits and the ability to be humble. Humble on lots of different levels about the fact we’re dealing with something that’s experiential. When a lot of people think about the role of story in clinical care, they think about empathy. I remember hearing Dr. Peter Sullivan at San Diego Pain Summit saying, “Tell me your story,” as part of his subjective exam, which is fantastic. There are lots of buzz on various social media channels about storytelling and the importance of hearing and listening to patient stories. That’s massively important. I don’t think we can do good pain care unless we do. If we reduce that simply to an empathic connection and we can’t have an empathic connection to persisting pain because we, for the most part, don’t have that. There are maybe some health professionals that I know of a few that have moved through and recovered into persisting pain and from persisting pain and their stories are extraordinary.
The ability they have to help people, they can take an empathic stance. I do think the best and our first aim with stories should be about ethics before this idea of empathy. The reason I think that ethics has to be where we start is because people in persisting pain in a healthcare experience, even in social experience are labeled, stigmatized. Their stories are not believed every step of the way in healthcare. They receive or they find online an outdated and threatening information. I don’t know if you’ve ever done a Google search for low back pain, but it’s definitely not going to make you feel any better or more hopeful about your ability to improve. When someone comes to see me in the clinic, we’re not at a neutral place. Their stories charged with a great spread of difficult experiences and their pain is only one of them. The way that we interact with their story and the skill that we have in interacting with that has to be our first ethical stand that we take with a patient. To build empathy or relationality. The ability to sit on the same side of the table.
For most of us, there’s this epistemic gap that we don’t get where people in pain are coming from because words fail. Words are not good at conveying, not just pain but grief, fear, doubt, all of these things that go with that lived experience. That easy road of labeling someone, a poor historian or a difficult patient caused their story is confused, it’s interrupted, it jumps around, it’s repetitive. There are great chunks of important information missing that they don’t tell you two weeks later. They focus on things that might be seemingly irrelevant to you. If you label them, that’s an ethical misstep that you’ve made because you can’t handle that story.
It’s so important because in some ways, I’ll speak about the United States of America, we are very much into labeling patients. We do it in physical medicine, we do it in mental health. That label is put on even before you meet the person. You never see them, you just know Mrs. or Mr. So-and-so and right under their name is a label with a code attached to it. It starts a story in our mind as practitioners. How do stories work in narrative medicine when we look at it?
Rather than using my words, I am going to use a more qualified person in my dear friend, Joletta Belton. Hopefully, all of you reading are familiar with Joletta’s fabulous blog, MyCuppaJo.com. Joletta is someone that’s lived through and recovered from persisting pain and does incredible work as an educator and advocate. Her answer to this question is, “The work of stories that we make sense of things of ourselves, of our experience of the world, of our place in the world through story.” She quotes Bessel van der Kolk in The Body Keeps The Score, which is such an important text for many of us that work in pain care to at least dip our toes into.
She continues to say, “In that book, there are two critical aspects of the adaptive response to a threat that it’s basic to human survival. Becoming an agent in our own rescue and making some sense of what happened. In order to become an agent in our own rescue, we need to be heard, believed and validated. Being heard shows us that we are of worth of value. It restores our humanity. Being allowed to tell our story helps us connect our own dots and see different possibilities. For so long, my story was frightening and hopeless and despairing. I needed to tell a better story in order to heal. I needed to first be able to share my story before I could start to co-create new stories. Stories that make both biological and biographical sense. Stories that put order to the chaos and make meaning of my experiences.”
I couldn’t have answered that any better and there’s far more weight in the fact that it comes from someone that has lived through this. That point to the incredibly fundamental role that stories have and what Joletta says there is a way the ability both to tell her story, to have it witnessed, to have it heard was a turning point. Quite importantly she mentioned the idea of co-creation. The sharing of the story created a space in which things weren’t being done to her. She wasn’t being told to do things that made no sense to her but she was able to make sense and to move on. That’s what stories and stories well-heard and well-told have the potential to do.
That is beautifully said. Especially when I think back to my own experience as a physical therapist, when I first started practicing and when I reflect on colleagues and co-workers who I’ve worked with, we all come out of school roaring to do things to people. We have all these ideas, interventions. We have so many great things happening in the world of pain care. What you’re talking about is creating space for someone at first.
Isn’t that hard to do?
That’s right because of the word “do” there in some respect, you need to metaphorically create that space where someone can then at times unwind or unpack what they’ve been through and it doesn’t always happen the first visit, even if you have four hours. There are things that come up naturally in conversation, in treatment sessions as treatments change and people get to know you better and contacts change that are wonderful ways for people to heal. It also makes me think from a healthcare perspective, does narrative medicine fit well into PT maybe more than other types of professions because we do spend time with people?
Time is a big part of it. It naturally lends itself to PT or to OT. I also think that we can’t undervalue the importance of having the skills and the ability to hear a story in emergency medicine, in ward work, in any facet. It’s like anything, you practice it and you get better, you can do it faster. There’s always some argument about listening to stories is somewhat a luxurious way to do healthcare. For those of us that work in the big system that are so bogged down I suppose with the way that we have to work. It can seem like it’s very difficult to take the time to listen to stories without having to do something with the story.
We talk a lot about good listening but closely listening is not so much about listening for diagnostic features or listening to respond or listening to tell someone to do something. It is the ability to hold the space for uncertainty, hold the space for ambiguity. As healthcare professionals that have to justify what we do, that’s difficult. Patients and people in pain don’t operate in straight lines. They don’t fit in boxes. Their pain experience is completely unique. If we can learn and develop those skills, no matter how little time we have, we’ve got the potential to do things better.
As I was telling a colleague of mine, another physiotherapist that I was interviewing about narrative medicine, which is not a topic that I know a lot about. I was doing my best to describe what it is based on the information you sent me. She said, “It sounds a lot like motivational interviewing. I already do that.” I said, “That’s interesting. I can hear there are pieces of that in there. To me, it sounds very different.” In some ways in motivational interviewing, people are moving toward there are ways to get that motivation and change to happen. With narrative medicine, it doesn’t necessarily sound like that’s the focus.
I have to answer this question from not having studied a great deal of motivational interviewing. I’ve done a little bit and I noticed some basics about it. I can see where that perception comes from and possibly in something like pain care, that crossover might be bigger because the people that come to us are interested in change. There are circumstances such as terminal illness and palliative care in which narrative medicine is used widely. Also grief counseling and genetic counseling, all of these things that they don’t have the potential for change. In those areas, things might be applied a little bit differently but they can work side by side. Someone that has narrative competence as we call it, the ability to hear and understand stories and work with narrative is going to have a whole useful skillset to apply to something like motivational interviewing.
Is there a way to measure narrative competence once someone has been through training or in-service?
It would be nice. I like the scientist in you, Joe, like, “Can we measure this thing?” This is what English Departments do. This is what Medical Humanities Departments do. I don’t think we’re ever going to assess someone’s ability to critically analyze a text and to write an essay in terms of narrative competence. I might not be up to date with the emerging research around the way of trying to find ways of measuring. I would say the measurements that might be the most relevant would be how do we affect patient outcomes, but more of those subjective outcomes around self-efficacy. Coming back to the role of self-efficacy in persisting pain. The absolute need for an inter-subjective approach to building that self-efficacy. If we can measure that and correlate that with the narrative medicine approach to professional education, that would be interesting.
I’m imagining it has a tremendous impact on patient satisfaction ratings. A lot of big medical systems in the United States are looking at patient satisfaction. Outcomes are important but they want to know was that patient happy because a happy patient will always come back or recommend you to a friend and family. As a practitioner, it develops this open stance where they’re creating space for the patient or the person with pain, that patient satisfaction may look better.
It points also to something that may be in pain care is unique to us, happy patients are also the ones that get better. This comes back to having one story witnessed. I remember many patients that I have that you get to the end of your rope. You’ve done all the cracking, whacking, exercises, and everything and you don’t have anything left. All you do is have a conversation. It might not even be about pain, about anything related and something shifts, something changes in that. To me, that’s very important, very interesting. What’s happening there? What happened in that person’s brain? What contextually changed through that conversation when we witness someone as a person, not a patient? As health professionals, we are the ones that create patients. We label people as patients. If we sit with someone as a person, then we retain their personhood as well. That is something we do a terrible job of, whether it’s in the pain care or it’s in healthcare generally.
This is such an important topic for pain care and healthcare in general. Storytelling is almost a buzzword. There are stories in TED Talks, on the news. Even some of our colleagues who are professionals are talking about their own pain stories. Why do you think this hasn’t trickled down more into traditional physiotherapy education? I know our education is a little bit different around the globe but still, there’s a place for this.
I don’t know why. I studied in Sydney. We didn’t have any crossover into Humanities at Columbia and some of the other faculties, particularly around the US that teaches medicine generally or PT. There is a move towards teaching more narrative-based communication skills. I wonder if part of why we don’t do it is because it seems to be such a different skillset. If you’re thinking back to training and to new grad work, we’re bumbling around trying to work something out. As I say that and as I think about it, wouldn’t it be amazing if as a new grad, we’re equipped with perhaps a better set of communication skills that might engender more evidence-based and helpful outcomes like self-efficacy while we get it together in whatever it is that we do to people? It points to how our profession is changing. How will it change? Are we going to look back in a few years and go, “We used to do things to people?” I don’t think we should get away from the sensorial dimensions of touching people. Touch can be such an important communicator and a way of influencing the nervous system.
If we were to give an equal weight in education to stories, in the same way, as we might teaching a PT or an exercise scientist or someone to look at movement quality. When we look at movement quality and we say something, it’s a bit shaky and not well-timed, it looks weak and a bit odd. We know there’s something happening with the inputs and outputs of that nervous system. If we were to train in an equal way, the ability to listen to a story and realize that if someone can’t tell a story, that might be their way of showing that’s the chaos. That their life is under because of their pain condition. Maybe as new grads, this might be the most important thing we teach them. There’s a whole lot of possibility there. That sounds wonderful to me.
You started talking about the sense of a nervous system, which everyone is familiar who reads this. People should know that you have worked closely with Lorimer Moseley and David Butler. You’ve had some great work and interaction with them the way you talk about that. Before you go into some of the work you’ve done with them, how does narrative medicine walk hand in hand with effective pain education?
Our first starting point with that might be the understanding that we have to walk as much as we can in the other person’s shoes, the person that comes with us. Honestly, their world might as well be science fiction to us. We can’t have that empathic understanding. If we are training these close reading and radical listening skills using literature, there is some research that shows us that has a neurobiological effect. Way back in 2013, there was a great study that came out of the new school in New York. Kidd and Castano found that training in literary fiction, not nice easy beach reads like you and I have been reading over summer but difficult, tough, hard literary fiction that makes you think and you have to connect the dots. It also has measurable outcomes in the ability to understand another person’s thinking and state of mind, it’s called Theory of Mind. If we know that being able to have that as an into subjective connection to build self-efficacy, to co-create has to rest on a basis of the ability to sit with someone on the same side of the table. I don’t see how we can’t make something like narrative medicine and those skills of learning because they have that neurobiological effect while we can’t make that critically important.
I imagine you’re also training a good amount of flexibility in the practitioner. Let’s say working on pain education and narrative medicine together, you’re going from maybe that stance of “doing a little bit more or working on the perception of pain, working on the reconceptualization.” Having to step back and allow that narrative stance to take over and let it do its thing.
The risk we have in pain education is using that as a modality. It’s taking the same idea of like, “I’m not going to manipulate your back but I’m going to pain educate you.” Lorimer calls it quite aptly the posture. If you don’t have the ability to softly and gently understand where the things that we pick up those battle metaphors. The dims relative through the things I tell myself. If we go in there and we say, “That’s wrong. You can’t do that. Here’s why. Here’s what the science says.” We had as much of an iatrogenic effect as if we tell someone they can’t possibly bend forward ever again in their life. It’s not any different. It comes back to how do you meet someone where they’re at before you try to add something or take something away. They are where they are because of the sum total of their life experiences, which is a biopsychosocial model.
If we can’t have that deep ability and flexibility, this is not communication training. This is not saying, “I’m sorry that happened to you. Let’s see what we can do about this.” It’s not canned responses. It is a very brain-based and cognitive-based ability to respond. All the way back to that idea of empathy, I’d say empathy is not what we’re aiming for. We’re aiming to be receptive to those difficult stories. Only from that place are we going to have the ability and possibly to add something more, to add some useful nugget that comes out of the research lab that may be the first step towards a reconceptualization experience for that person.
I interviewed Steven Hayes who is one of the inventors of ACT. He had started talking about how ACT can help with Exposure Therapy. I said, “That’s interesting because we do a lot of exposure in PT for people with pain.” He said, “One of the greatest challenges is that practitioners themselves do not like to expose themselves to unpleasant situations,” meaning interactions with patients as well. As you’re talking about this, I’m thinking to myself, if I’m a practitioner and I’m getting good at narrative medicine, I have to be able to ethically and empathically hold the space for that client or patient with pain, someone with pain, the person with pain as they tell us story which can be difficult for us as practitioners. We do this day in and day out for hours on end, which oftentimes can lead to burnout if you’re not working on your own self-care. Is there a place for narrative medicine to help our own burnout and to help us cradle those stories in a way that is beneficial for our own health as well?
There are two important parts to that. The first part is, as you alluded to being willing and able to go there with those stories and to not turn away. I think of narrative medicine in a way like a football training. In football training, we practice high stakes, difficult stuff that we need on game day but we practice it in fun, relaxed environment where we can get feedback, where we can do the wrong move. We can miss a goal where we can get it wrong, where we can say something that we reflect on later and sounds ridiculous, having that ability to do that. In a way that when we teach narrative medicine is in a group. There’s a group dynamic. There’s a community of practice that forms around these texts and around these ideas that do act in some way as to that buffer.
My experience of learning and working with narrative medicine, it’s not built as therapy but it sure feels like it. When we do a narrative medicine workshop, as a teacher I will choose a text and there are lots of different reasons and ways that I choose the specific texts that I want us to study. We’ll study that and we’ll talk about and we’ll have some specific questions around the theme but then we’ll do some reflective writing. Five minutes timed, whatever’s there. That is an opportunity for those people in that group to bring up whatever’s sitting there relative to those things. We’re picking texts or ideas that bring out grief, loss and sadness. It’s an opportunity for the people working within that text to have their story witnessed and witnessed by people around them.
That’s not necessarily an easy thing. There’s a vulnerability and a dynamic that has to be built when we’re teaching things in this way. There is some emerging research that’s looking at the way that this kind of work can be a solace and a buffer against burnout. That experience of dealing with those challenging stories and experiences day in and day out. Mostly what we’ve talked about is about the importance of this work to patient care. We can’t do patient care if we can’t be okay. If I go to the clinic on a day where I’m not okay, no one does well. I don’t know if anyone else experiences that but it’s how I am, how I can be my state as a human impact on the ability I have to be with others.
As practitioners are reading this and start to become interested in narrative medicine, what are some practical things they can do on their own to start to grease the spokes a little bit, grease the wheels a little bit around this topic?
The first easy thing I would say is to interact with more art and more humanities. I’m going to go from broad to things that anyone could do at any time. If you don’t have access or even as a starting point like this is quite a different idea. Let’s say go to the theater, go to the ballet, read anything and because these are also acts of self-care. If you go to the theater, you will probably go with a friend, you’re probably going to have dinner beforehand. It sounds interesting like I tell my patients to go and do about calming the nervous system. In this way, if you go and you sit and you interact with a play, with a musical or with something that is going to have some human effect on you, that’s already a starting point.
That’s also a permission that I give other clinicians to be whole people. We get so easily bogged down and I have to read more research. Some people even read qualitative research. I’m going to say go read a book. The ability to inhabit the world is such an important part of being able to hear stories better. That’s something that for someone that is, “These were nice words. What can I do because I don’t have any resources?” Go and get involved in arts. Humanities are called humanities because they bring to us our most human aspects. Say we a take step into a bit more of a detail, read some literary fiction. Literary fiction is the hardest stuff. You can read it on the subway I suppose, but it bears re-reading. It has gaps. It’s the stuff that wins prizes. It’s those kinds of books that people say, “I had to battle through it but it was worth it in the end.”
I’ve got a download that the audience can put there. I’ve got some starting points for some literary fiction that would be good to start with. If you’re feeling inspired, replace your journal club with a book club. Even just discussing, “What happened in this book? What did you think of the main character?” Sometimes studying books or reading books that have strong and difficult main characters, which might remind us of the challenging personalities we meet in the clinic, they can be great to focus on. In the download, I’ve got two great examples of some tricky characters there. That would be something to start. Get into reading.
I love that you’re moving people toward the arts and humanities because so often physical therapy is stuck in the biomedical or quite frankly, the medical. It’s so interesting because all day long we confront human suffering and when you look at all the great literary works, plays, books, operas, most of them revolve around a center story of someone’s human suffering and how they overcame it or whatever the outcome was, which doesn’t exist in physical therapy. Maybe a little bit in psychology but it’s so critical.
A story has a beginning, a middle and an end. Writers and authors, the people that are writing the literary fiction that we’re going to read, they know how to create a story arc. Every word matters for what they have written because they are shaping those characters. We have storytellers in the clinic that don’t have that skill. We have to be far better listeners, far better readers to be able to decipher what is that story really saying? Oral history has been the way that we have understood the world around us. To me, it seems crazy that we have taken this long to put those worlds together.
Along that vein, are we helping people with pain create a beginning, a middle and an end to their story in some way?
We are helping them to move down the road. Their end may not be the end that they think. This is something important in persisting pain is that those people that identify as having recovered, people like Joletta, still have some degree of pain. That pain does not have the same feel, the same anxiety, the same effect and interruption on life. There is a degree to which we are able to help someone construct a different place for their story to end and to make it an ending that still encompasses the things that make them whole, that include their personhood.
As we start to move toward the end, I want to make sure that we talk about your great work in Pain Chats. Can you tell us about that?
You mentioned that if you’ve ever done a Google search for anything about pain, you’re going to be more scared and more worried. I worked for a couple of years with Professor Lorimer Moseley and with David Butler on Pain Revolution and the Local Pain Educator Program. What I noticed there is we thought we wanted to be offering good information, evidence-based and useful information to people that they could find online. It didn’t exist. I’m not arrogant enough to say there are not people that aren’t writing this. It was pretty quick to get through all the good things I wanted to share on social media and realize that there wasn’t anything else. I couldn’t find the things that I thought were worth sharing. With Pain Chats, I didn’t want it to be me as the expert, telling things.
I’m a PT, I tell some stories, I do some stuff, I work with people. There are better people than myself to tell clinical stories that don’t have a platform to do it. For me, I worked behind the scenes as an editor and bringing in the principles of narrative medicine. A literary filter, “Is this a good story to read? Is this nice to read?” An ethical filter, “Would a person in pain read this?” We are working on getting a patient panel to have people in pain approve what we’re putting out into the world or saying, “This is not only useful but this is treating the story and the mode of disseminating information in a way that sits kindly.” Pain Chats exist at PainChats.com. There are lots of stuff already there. There’s YouTube which has lots of videos and bits and pieces. Watch this space on that.
You’re the only person that I know working on narrative medicine and pain care. It’s awesome because I see a light in you with this and I see a sweet spot there. I’m so happy to talk to you about this topic. If people want to learn more about narrative medicine and some of the things you’re doing, where can they learn more about you?
The first place I would suggest they come in and learn about this is our Facebook group. That is Facebook.com/groups/narrativemed. We are running a small pilot program until the end of the year where we’re taking small groups of pain care practitioners through a five-week narrative medicine program. You will find on the Facebook group also the ability to sign up for that towards the end of the year. You’ll find some resources in the download and my email address. If you had any specific questions or anything you want to ask me or you want me to come and talk your ear off, I will be there.
I want to thank Lissanthea for joining us on the Healing Pain Podcast. Make sure you take a moment to download the narrative medicine and pain care that Lissanthea created for all of you. They got lots of great resources on there for you as well as a whole bunch of different ways you can contact her.
Thanks for having me, Joe. It’s been a pleasure.
- Lissanthea Taylor
- The Body Keeps The Score
- Steven Hayes – previous episode
- Pain Revolution
- Local Pain Educator Program
- @Lissanthea on Twitter
About Lissanthea Taylor
Lissanthea Taylor is a physiotherapist, online author and narrative medicine scholar based in Shanghai, China. She is the founding editor of PainChats.com and managed communications and media for the University of South Australia’s Pain Revolution Local Pain Education Program.
Lissanthea splits her work between clinical work with people in persisting pain, teaching narrative medicine online and offline and creating easy to access, evidence-based online resources for people in pain.
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