Story Doctors

August 4, 2011


Introduction by Julie Cunningham

STORY DOCTORS is a documentary following a journey of discovery about the extraordinary outcomes that become possible when mind and body are treated as a whole.

My chance meeting on a plane with the pioneering NZ Doctor Dr Brian Broom, an immunologist and psychotherapist, professor, author and educator- opens out to a journey through New Zealand meeting ex-patients whose long standing chronic physical diseases shifted into remission after talk therapy with the “Story Doctor”.  These people; the Doctor’s ex-patients, the landscape and its icons encountered along the way, form the physical backbone of the film.

In interview patients reveal how their buried emotional stories were underlying their physical conditions, in effect causing them, and how this was surprisingly uncovered though therapy with the Dr Broom. 

Working with emotional story became the cornerstone of Dr Broom’s approach with particular patients who had physical conditions.  Although  physical conditions conventionally are never treated with psychotherapy, he couldn’t dismiss the indications of an unconscious emotional story being revealed through the metaphors colouring his patient’s language.  For instance an older woman who suffered a serious fall and consequently developing a chronic thickening of her skin speaking of going “into her shell”.

As both an immunologist and a psychotherapist guided by deep care for his patients Dr Broom forged a method. He discovered a simple story based approach was easily assimilated by patients and allowed for a person to person exchange in therapy, not a top down dynamic based on theory. As equal power relations were possible a patient’s tender unconscious story would unfold in a place of trust.  Following that unearthing into the light of consciousness in a safe place, the condition would simply leave the person and not come back.

For Further Information visit Story Doctors.com

Still Images from The Pillow Book a film by Peter Greenaway

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