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May 2022

VIEWING PERSONS AS STORIES: A PERSPECTIVE FOR HOLISTIC CARE

Author(s): Burkhardt, M.

Abstract: In our increasingly hurried and high-tech society, patients and families hope that those who care for them are interested in the depth and uniqueness of their lives. Viewing persons as stories enables the understanding that events and experiences in life occur within a unique context ' for each individual This article considers the healing potential of story within the healthcare milieu. Story involves an interpretation Of events and experiences, and may communicate more truth about the patient than extracted data from traditional history taking. Viewing persons as ongoing and unfolding stories provides a perspective from which healthcare providers intentionally seek and listen for story. This article presents examples of stories encountered in research and clinical practice, the value of story and metaphor in the clinical setting, ways of attending to one's own story, and ways of encouraging and hearing the stories of others.


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