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Lewis Mehl-Madrona graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine and completed residencies in family medicine and in psychiatry at the University of Vermont. He is the author of Coyote Medicine, Coyote Healing, Coyote Wisdom, and Narrative Medicine.
SHARE Sunday, March 4, 2012 Day 11 of the Australian Journey 2012 (2516 views)
Today is Day 11 of the Australian cultural exchange adventure for 2012. We interacted with Mission Australia in Sydney and were deeply impressed with their services for young people and for homeless adults. They have managed to integrate shelter with education and skills training so that homeless people become able to transition into the work force. One person told us, "I came here a prostitute, and I left an artist."
SHARE Saturday, December 31, 2011 The Narrative Paradigm and the New Year (2437 views)
I write about my enthusiasm for the narrative paradigm for psychotherapy as we enter into 2012. Within this paradigm, we understand that we don't necessarily know the reasons for our actions, but rather we look for the stories that create the roles that guide us to do what we do. We find that people mostly know what needs to change in their lives but have stories that stop them from making those changes.
SHARE Sunday, March 4, 2012 Day 13 of the Australian Journey 2012 (2387 views)
Today is Day 13 of the Australian Cultural Exchange Journey for 2012. After a quick morning run, we went to Mission Australia's Youth Forum 2012. We met Nancy Ingram, an elder from the area who attended Harvard University and knew about Vermont. I have a talk about the importance of heroism for adolescents and finding ways for them to be heroic or to save face when they feel they have not been heroic.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 9, 2013 Day 2 of Australia 2013: Story is Healing (2334 views)
Today we considered how story can save people's lives. When people are filled with negative stories about being inferior and worthy of humiliation and contempt, they respond accordingly often with substance misuse and violence. The traditional cultural stories of all of our peoples are antidotes to this negativity. By immersing ourselves in our cultural stories, we can turn victimization into recovery and transformation.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 9, 2013 Day 1 of Australia 2013: The Autobiographical Narrative (2265 views)
Each year we make a cross-cultural tour to Australia, though one of our Coyote colleagues comes twice a year to make an impact on incorporating culture in health care for aboriginal people. This year we began with a lecture in a writing conference on the topic of the autobiography in which I describe my experience of writing Coyote Medicine. I finish with a description of what has been accomplished in five years of coming.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 24, 2013 NIMH and its Biologic Emphasis (2223 views)
I respond to Dr. Thomas Insel's blog about his views of the top ten advances for mental health for 2012. What saddens me is that all of these advances are heavily biological and that biological medicine hasn't really succeeded very well in improving our mental health. While these advances are very interesting, I argue that what we need is more understanding of how our social relationships form our brains and behavior.
SHARE Sunday, February 26, 2012 Day 1: Australia 2012 (2062 views)
This article begins my 2012 Australian journey. I briefly describe my presentation for the day and then go to the meat of what I learned, which is about aboriginal health and disparity statistics in Australia today. Generally, as anyone can imagine, aboriginal people are in terrible shape in Australia -- to my surprise, worse than their counterparts in the USA and Canada. We know the sad state of Indians in the US.
SHARE Friday, March 2, 2012 Day 10 of the Australian Journey 2012 (1993 views)
Today was Day 10 of the journey and was a day for reflection and preparation for the Sydney portion of our trip. We reflected upon what culture camp had meant for people and confirmed that we would come again next year. Then we flew to Sydney and ate a marvelous fish dinner.
SHARE Wednesday, February 29, 2012 Day 8 of the Australian Journey 2012 (1934 views)
This is Day 8 of the Australian cross cultural adventure. Today we went to the heart of the community where the elders from the Northern Territories demonstrated some of their ceremonies and procedures to the community. That included the burning ceremony for healing pain, the smoking ceremony for purification, and spear throwing. On the way back to the island, I interviewed a patient advocate from Western Australia.
SHARE Thursday, February 2, 2012 On the Nature of Afflictions (1899 views)
In this article I wonder about what illness has to offer us. What is the nature of affliction. Is it a thing or is it a doorway, an invitation to make meaning. All illnesses offer us this opportunity.
SHARE Monday, February 27, 2012 Day 5 of the Australian Journey 2012 (1886 views)
I describe the fifth day of our journey for cross-cultural exchange. Today was primarily a day of our teaching. The days vary from receiving mostly to giving mostly. We focused on the importance for everyone, regardless of ethnicity or indigenous status to participate in ceremony in such a way as to feel closer to the spiritual dimension and to celebrate what's good and positive about one's life instead of tales of misdeeds.
SHARE Wednesday, February 29, 2012 Day 7 of the Australian Journey 2012 (1832 views)
Today is Day 7 of the Australian journey 2012. We are on Boole Poole in the Lake District of Gippsland. Our sweat lodge ceremony had been rained out the day before, so we prepared to do the ceremony as soon as the rain stopped which happened around 8am. I've written about sweat lodge before, as have others, most notably Bucko, author of The Lakota Sweat Lodge. It was a wonderful experience and then we hear crocodile tales.
SHARE Sunday, February 26, 2012 Day 4 of the Australian Journey 2012 (1822 views)
Day 4 of the Australian Journey finds us in Warburton with Auntie Jennie, an aboriginal elder from Queensland. I discuss the workshop we did together and explore further the concepts that integrate indigenous theories of mind and mental health with the Hearing Voices movement, showing that its founders were thinking indigenously as they approached voices, which appears much more effective than the biomedical approach.
SHARE Tuesday, February 28, 2012 Day 6 of the Australian Journey 2012 (1816 views)
Today is Day 6 of the 2012 Cultural Exchange Adventure in Australia. It was also the first day of culture camp at Boole Poole with the aboriginal coop. The driving rain prevented our crew from Northern Australia from doing much outside. We had planned a sweat lodge ceremony but that was cancelled also due to the rain. So instead, while we tried to stay dry, I interviewed the new doctor at the Coop.
SHARE Tuesday, March 6, 2012 Day 14 of the Australian Journey 2012 (1809 views)
Today is the end of the Australian cross cultural adventure. I fly back to the U.S. today and resume ordinary life. I write about the people I met whom I appreciate and what I learned and where we might go next.
SHARE Sunday, February 26, 2012 Day 2 of the Australian Journey 2012 (1803 views)
Day 2 of the Australian Journey for 2012 finds me in Melbourne at the International Hearing Voices conference, attended by aboriginal and non-aboriginal people alike. I present the highlights of the conference including aspects of my keynote address. The conference is unique in that it is organized hy voice hearers and not professionals who treat voice hearers. It is also unique in being upbeat, positive, and full of hope.
SHARE Wednesday, February 29, 2012 Day 9 of the Australian Journey 2012 (1774 views)
Today is Day 9 of the Australian Cultural Exchange Journey for 2012. Related to the constant, driving rain, we mostly talked today We talked about the health care system to which we wished to move and how to get there, especially through changing the socialization of students and giving them new stories about what to expect from others.
SHARE Monday, January 9, 2012 Reflections after a Hypnosis Workshop (1633 views)
I describe some reflections after co-teaching a hypnosis workshop. Particularly, we look at a person whose story is too large, as big even as the whole United States. How do we work with someone whose story is that large. I describe ways to extract smaller stories, short stories from the large novel, stories that can work within an hour time frame, the usual length of time for mental health or hypnosis encounters.
SHARE Friday, January 6, 2012 Mind, body, and unexplained symptoms (1581 views)
I describe a woman with a "mystery illness" who has defied the efforts of conventional physicians to diagnose her. She has also been unsuccessful at gaining help from alternative medical practitioners. I show how inflammation is an integrative process which can affect a variety of organs and can be provoked by stress, including the stress of worrying too much. We we can change the underlying process, we can reduce it.
SHARE Sunday, February 26, 2012 Day 3 of the Australian Journey 2012 (1465 views)
This is Day 3 of the Australian Journey. It's also the second day of the Hearing Voices International Conference in Melbourne in which aboriginal elders and their wisdom for managing voices (and giving the voices full ontological status as potential beings) were showcased. I write about some of the techniques I demonstrated in my workshop for managing voices including guided imagery, dialogue, and theatre.