Narrative medicine has developed an identity already. Clinicians of many disciplines are being summoned to a practice that recognizes patients by receiving their accounts of self. Starting from different positions, the four authors have converged in a strong and shared commitment to narrative health care. They conceptualize narrative health care practices within frameworks derived from the social sciences and psychology, and, to a lesser degree, phenomenology and autobiographical theory. They relate the development of narrative medicine to relationship-centered care, patient-centered care, and complex responsive process of relating theory, positing that narrative medicine can help clinicians to develop the skills required to practice relationship-centered care. The book details - with exercises, resource texts, and abundant scholarly apparatus - how these skills can be developed and strengthened. This work will change health care. Because of its scholarly rigor, its multi-voiced sources, and its highly practical features (lists, activities, key ideas and key references, primary texts written by health care professionals and patients), this work will be a guide in the field for those who practice medicine or nursing or social work. The book establishes that there is a field to be practised, a need to practise it, and a means to develop the wherewithal to do so.
Part 1: Historical context, genealogy, and current viewpoints. Medicine, medical practice, and knowledge. Transdisciplinary narrative turns and narrative health care. The patient-practitioner relationship. Part 2: Professional performance situations and narrative importance. Narrative contexts of care. Narrative contexts of profession and community. Interlude: the death of Ivan Ilyich. Part 3: Narrative competence and its outcomes. Skills for the practice of narrative medicine. Evidence of narrative success and risks of non-narrative practice. Part 4: Personal perspectives on narrative in health care. Conversations with practitioners.