The book is grounded upon Brian Broom's extensive professional involvement with physical diseases that are a powerful expression of the patients' emotional themes and life-stories. They are meaning-full diseases. They occur commonly, and are the most compelling argument for an urgent ackwledgment of the role of meanings in the healing process. Following the pattern of his first book, Somatic Illness and the Patient's Other Story, Broom shows in case after case that listening and responding to the story of patients suffering from persistent physical diseases frequently leads to major reversal of the disease processes. This present book takes a crucial second step. There must be an understandable basis for meaning-full diseases. Resistance to them relates in part to the inability of current Western scientific and biomedical theories to explain them. Broom sets out to construct conceptual frameworks, within which clinicians and patients can see that a close relationship between life experience and the appearance of physical disease really does make sense. His unapologetic grappling with the intellectual challenges comes with depth, breadth, and clarity, and appeals to a wide audience, including clinicians of all kinds - from doctors to psychotherapists - scientists, and serious lay-readers.
Brian Broom, MBChB, FRACP, MSc (Imm), MNZAP, leads the post-graduate programme in MindBody Healthcare in the department of psychotherapy at the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. He works as a consultant physician (immunology), psychotherapist, and MindBody specialist in the department of immunology at Auckland City Hospital, New Zealand. His previous books are 'Somatic Illness and the Patient's Other Story' and Meaning-Full Disease: How Personal Experience and Meanings Cause and Maintain Physical Illness'.