Dr. Pierre Morin

HEALTH-IN-SICKNESS AND SICKNESS-IN-HEALTH

In Health-in-Sickness, Pierre Morin suggests that the classical approach to defining illness and health not only lacks the elixir perspective on disturbances, an approach that is suggested by alternative medicine, but in fact, also has an “opposite placebo” effect, in creating a sense of being victimized and at fault for having the symptom. His book contains many practical examples and is useful to both health practitioners as well as patients. First and foremost, it begins a long overdue conversation about the very concepts of health and sickness, and what is considered to be “normal.” Morin's book is an important contribution to the broad transdisciplinary discussions regarding individual and collective well-being.

Foreword by Max Schupbach, Ph.D.

Over the last few decades, many of us working in research and applications of health care have come to realize that “health” is not a measurable value fixed by science, but rather is an experiential concept in flow. It is a discussion between scientific models of biological processes, personal experiences of well-being, cultural values of what is “normal” and who defines it, political debates about public health and corporate interests, and how all of these intersect with collective identities such as gender, race, sexual orientation, and age, to name a few. Pierre Morin brings a fresh perspective into this conversation, challenging the mainstream views on health and illness. His work builds on the foundation of Processwork. In the late 80s, physicist and psychologist Arnold Mindell introduced the dreambody concept, proposing that the subjective experiences of body symptoms are symmetric to patterns found in night dreams. In short, the “unconscious” (as termed by depth psychologists Freud and Jung) expresses itself creatively in our dreams while we sleep and in our body experiences during our waking lives. Simply, Mindell stated that symptoms should not be considered only harmful, but also as potential elixirs of health and even of well-being.

This view reflected a general timespirit of that epoch, manifest as an effort towards depathologizing experiences in mental health. R. D. Laing’s existential approach in psychiatry, Stan Grof’s understanding of extreme states as spiritual emergencies, and Mindell’s city shadow concept were all part of a movement away from a deficit oriented view of what is “normal.”

In Health-in-Sickness, Pierre Morin goes one step further. He suggests that the classical approach to defining illness and health not only lacks the elixir perspective on disturbances, but in fact, also has an “opposite placebo” effect, in creating a sense of being victimized and at fault for having the symptom. His book contains many practical examples and is useful to both health practitioners as well as patients. First and foremost, it begins a long overdue conversation about the very concepts of health and sickness, and what is considered to be “normal.” We are delighted to publish this book and anticipate that it will stimulate broad transdisciplinary discussions regarding individual and collective well-being.

Details

Pub. Date: February 1, 2014

Publisher: DDX, Deep Democracy Exchange, 1st edition, Portland, OR

Format: Paperback + Kindle

Meet the Author

Pierre Morin, MD, PhD, is copresident of the International Association of Process oriented Psychology (IAPOP) and a faculty member at the Process Work Institute Graduate School in Portland, OR. He was assistant clinical director of Switzerland's leading rehabilitation clinic for brain and spinal injuries. After moving to Portland, OR, he studied health psychology and rehabilitation psychology. He currently works as a clinical director and supervisor in an outpatient mental health program and in private practice. Dr. Morin co-wrote with Gary Reiss Inside Coma and has written several articles on mind-body medicine and community health.

He has always been interested in health as well as in approaches that facilitate awareness in health care for individual professionals, patients, and health care administrators. As a medical facilitator he believes that communication and relationships are basic principles in health care. He recognizes the many competing subsidiary issues that need to be addressed in a communicative dialogue (i.e. rising health care costs, health disparities). In his books he integrates an adult education paradigm and addresses in addition to all other needs, the power and rank imbalance between health care providers and clients and the dominance of some cultural values over others. He believes in deepening meaning by unfolding individual and community stories and narratives. In contrast to the disenchanted worldview of mainstream medicine in which there is no place for mystery and magic he believes in people's sentient experiences and dreaming nature. He embraces the idea of a force of life that animates our bodies and selves and tries to foster the self-healing powers within ourselves, which help regain strength and overcome fatigue and sickness. In his leisure time he plays saxophone and loves cooking for friends and his family. He loves the outdoors and long walks on the Oregon beaches.

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