Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy | Pirjo Tuovila | PT-Publishing

Conference & Training > Broom: Meaning-Full Disease

5-6 June 2014: Interpersonal Neurobiology and Brain-Based Therapy

Brian BroomConference, Tampere, Finland, 5-6 June, 2014
Meaning-Full Disease
How Personal Experience and Meanings Cause and Maintain Physical Illness

Dr. Brian Broom, New Zealand

Consultant physician and psychotherapist, Dr. Brian Broom has researched the mind/body connection in his clinical work for over 20 years. He has seen numerous cases where the “meaningful illness” approach has helped patients to whom traditional medicine could offer no cure. In his work he has seen that the meaning of illness makes sense, that it opens a way for health professionals to be better doctors, nurses, therapists and healers, so that patients can truly benefit from the treatment. It is all about the connection between mind, body, and spirit; about how experiences and meanings are connected to the bodily human organism and its health, or the lack of it.

Dr. Brian Broom has long been at the forefront of mind-body health issues in New Zealand and internationally. He has thrived to understand the personhood and story of his patients and the frameworks through which their disease processes and histories are interpreted. He has explored issues that are problematic in our current viewpoints about human health and offers a much more coherent understanding of illness and its resolution that encompasses all aspects of what it is to be human. He has developed methods for daily practical mind-body work that benefits both the treating person and the patient.

Target group Professionals working with traumatised children and young people in different contexts and who are in the position to care, assess or provide treatment/therapies for them, including foster carers/parents, psychologists, child psychiatrists, therapists and social workers in foster and residential care, family guidance clinics, child protection and welfare, psychiatric units, and special schools. Also teachers of educational institutions for social and health care, and teachers and researchers of universities are in an important position to disseminate new ways to help our most vulnerable clients.


Thu 5 June, 2014  |  Illness and the Patient’s Unique Story

8.30–9.15 Registration and coffee
9.15–9.45 Opening
Pirjo Tuovila, Specialist in developmental and educational psychology
Claes Andersson, Psychiatrist, author and ex-MP in Finnish Parliament
9.45–10.45 Meaning-Full Disease
Illustrating many kinds of bodily diseases and illnesses and their deep connections with meaning, symbols, stress, emotion, life experience, and (most of all) human relationships.
Dr. Brian Broom
10.45–11.00 Break
11.00–12.00 How does this work?
How can real disease be full of meaning or symbolic?Making theoretical and conceptual sense of the ‘mindbody’ connections in a medical/scientific world that does not believe in the connections, or does not want to know. Getting your head right—how to think and not think in the ‘mindbody’ session.
12.00–13.00 Lunch
13.00–14.30 Unique story/disease and the unique clinical relationship
The uniqueness of each person’s story and its relationship with the illness. The crucial importance of relationship, intimacy, authenticity, and emergent story. Person-centred care and avoiding reduction to your professional ‘knowing’.
14.30–15.00 Break
15.00–16.30 Holding the mindbody framework
Helping people understand and begin to explore the ‘mindbody’ connections of their physical illnesses when they both do and don’t want to know! Keeping in mind their previous experience with clinicians and disease models. Learning to be comfortable with the clinical tension that can arise. ‘Holding’ the mindbody framework as the person starts to trust.

Fri 6 June, 2014  |  MindBody Skills

8.30–9.30 MindBody skills (1)
The importance of simple education about mindbody matters. Why the common medical ‘fix-it’ and the psychotherapy ‘waiting for the patient to be ready’ responses are unsatisfactory. Having a tool-kit of responses and yet treating each person uniquely. The crucial importance of astute listening to emotional detail rather than accumulating more and more superficial information.
Dr. Brian Broom
9.30–10.00 Break
10.00–11.15 MindBody skills (2)
What to do and say, what to ask, how to educate, and the importance of pacing. The smorgasbord question. Holding the frame, holding the line, and the crucial but difficult art of holding both professional discipline skills and ‘story’ together in the same time/space.
11.15–12.15 Lunch
12.15–13.30 The processes of becoming a mindbody practitioner
All kinds of health workers can be mindbody practitioners. The different challenges (relating to profession, work context, and personality style) for each kind of health professional (e.g. psychotherapists, doctors, physiotherapists etc ) as they train to be ‘mindbody’ clinicians able to treat the ‘whole person’. Managing joint clinical care and professional relations with colleagues who are not mindbody-oriented. Transference and counter-transference in a mindbody practice. The importance of supervision and personal work.
13.30–14.00 Coffee
14.00–15.15 Special situations and important principles
Working with serious and life-threatening illness. What to do when things get too hard. Keeping humble and a sense of mystery; managing idealism and grandiosity. Holding theory lightly. A journey of exploration rather than theory-driven knowing. The importance of love and compassion.
15.15–15.30 Closing

Excellent simultaneous interpreting English-Finnish-English.

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