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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Moore is listening to health care professionals

Thomas Moore is talking with medical professionals about their passion for what they do. For the Hartford Courant, Susan Campbell reports about a recent meeting at Hartford's St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, where Moore listened to two nurses, "who have nearly 60 years’ nursing experience between them” talk about their work. Sitting in was Marcus M. McKinney, the hospital’s director of pastoral counselling. The reporter quotes McKinney as saying Moore has "... found a home here, a place where he can acquaint himself in more than an introductory way." McKinney’s doctorate is in psychology, and he "has studied with Moore at his home in New Hampshire."

According to Campbell, Moore has "a long-term commitment to the hospital. He'll come to St. Francis every two months or so to talk to staff about what drew them to medicine, what keeps them there, and how their work environment could be improved. Moore and others will gather the information, and then use it to try to improve the hospital."

She reports,
"I don't know of anyone exploring the emotional, relational, and spiritual dimensions as a whole with the physical ones," said Moore. That includes everything from the quality of communication between doctors and nurses to the colors of the walls in an office..."
"The men are concerned with what they call depth psychology, or an approach to psychology that explores emotions and stories. Based on the work of Freud and Jung, Moore said depth psychology "is the attempt to heal a person who is struggling with emotions or relationship problems due to memories or raw feelings that get in the way."

"You can talk to people and if you have an ear for it you hear them describing their ordinary life situations, but you also hear a narrative that they are not aware of," said Moore. "That story is full of images and all kinds of things" that may motivate them in their work. The work can involve dream analysis or art therapy, he said."

Campbell says Moore’s explorations will help him to write a book, "and will perhaps be included in training DVDs for other hospitals." She says Moore "also dreams of opening a center that would advance a more spiritual approach to medicine. But even if staff's initial reaction has been positive, McKinney anticipates the process will take some time."

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