The languages (and the light) of care

Many people, many books, our Narrative Medicine needs in this very moment more daily effort.
Many people study many books to support the spreading and sprouting of our Narrative Medicine in the practice of care. They meet, educate themselves, and share their experiences.

The rich program of the II SIMeN Congress, ‘The complicity of care’, held in May 2018,  produced changes and osmosis in departments, ambulatories, homes where the disease is “The” issue, the hidden harmony (as defined by Gadamer). This is the major wish to realize.

The Languages of Care in Narrative Medicine. Words, Space and Time in the Healthcare Ecosystem (Springer Editor), by Maria Giulia Marini is there, in this time and in this scenario: one of such a book that people read, browse through, want to read to diffuse the Narrative Medicine.
I believe that Maria Giulia had many reasons  for publishing her book in English; maybe the effort of recognising  the so many subjects people with whom the author has established relationships with, and she has acknowledged in her book; maybe for the effort to produce  a precious tool for healthcare professionals, patients, researchers, no matter where placed worldwide.
This is a tool. Languages of Care in Narrative Medicine; it is a really useful tool for Narrative Medicine because today people ask us to be not only brave and day-dreamer, but also experts, active, and effective. For that, Maria Giulia’s work highlights how to practice creativity, establish complicity, challenge organizations. She  does it through ‘crossing the fields’ of words, colours, and emotions, in a complex world of experiences and living, in the Care. She carries us to hope, to com-passion, to perceptions. More than this,, we are amazed that topics defined as soft and non-technical remain in contact with hard  and technical  topics while  looking through the chapters, as chronic illness and health.

As Maria Giulia knows, I was very impressed by  her conversation with Prof. Garattini, when he says “Narrative Medicine does not have  good reputation”, what follows  is unmissable.
I was also particularly impressed by the chapter entitled Curing the Language of Care. The prescriptive language, music, sound, colours as an unicum.  Another factor of amazement came from the  pages dedicated to Practice Time, that are in all the chapters and are my favourite part, but in the chapter of Curing the Language of Care  they are  particularly innovative for me.

I don’t know if I have explained correctly the rich and complex soul of the book Languages of Care in Narrative Medicine. Words, Space and Time in the Healthcare Ecosystem, because it is not so easy, but I believe you, readers, could understand the idea I have of this work: you should better to read it. This work, indeed, should be studied and left on your desk, or virtual desktop if you like. It is always just begun, it is a constant change.

In my opinion, as a sociologist, finding in the soul of something or someone the idea of changing is the same as turning on the Light. Maria Giulia’s book is an educational tool, for changing, that is accompanying me through the pathway, through the world of Language, that now is highlighted. And all is just at the beginning.

So I would like to wish the same to you.




By Dr. Stefania Polvani

Sociologist, South East Tuscany Local Hospital, and SIMeN President (Società Italiana di Medicina Narrativa)
Author of ‘Cura delle stelle’ (“Care to the stars”), Handbook of narrative health.



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