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  • Writer's pictureCrone

A philosopher's stone...


So, this is Galena. I think it's related to lead and thereby 'excellent for grounding'. It's rather pretty and I hoped it would help with the philosophy.

Yesterday, I listened to an interview on Shrink Rap Radio with a guy who was talking about the 'magical' impact of the client-therapist relationship. It reminded me of a talk I went to at Oxford in 2017. The speaker was Professor Paul Dieppe. He had been a specialist in rheumatoid arthritis but he came to doubt the purely 'medical' model and ended up doing a lot of research into the placebo effect, the nocebo effect (which is the opposite - the mind makes you worse) and the possibility of non-contact healing. I remember being kind of disgusted that this was being debated at a respectable talk. But I did like him. And I didn't forget.

He quoted a German doctor who said that at times the 'doctor is the drug' - it is the relationship that makes the patient better. He quoted Rachel Naomi Remen who said that we can only cure a certain amount of human suffering, the rest must be healed. He made the connection - etymologically and semantically - between healing and wholeness. The body strives for homeostasis... and the mind does too. He said that healing is about context and connections. About caring and about meaning. He said that the healing response is 'an individual experience' which can be triggered by a lot of things that we don't think of as medical interventions.

So, in Prof. Dieppe's view, the placebo was a narrative of meaning that the patient comes to inhabit, to live in. Reappraise your stories, and allow yourself to be healed.

Galena. Grounding? Maybe. Or maybe a philosopher's stone to turn philosophy into gold.

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