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Healing Words: Poetry and Medicine (2008)

Peter Coyote , James Cavenaugh , David Drewery  |  Unrated |  DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Healing Words: Poetry and Medicine + Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making + Finding What You Didn't Lose (Inner Work Book)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Coyote
  • Directors: James Cavenaugh, David Drewery
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: August 12, 2008
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001CR49AM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,537 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Editorial Reviews

This documentary tells the stories of patients whose lives have been dramatically changed as a result of Dr. John Graham-Pole and poetry therapist John Fox's incorporation of poetry into their recovery process. At a time when Americans have grown cynical about health-care, this film affirms that poetry and art can build understanding and compassion between doctor and patient and help facilitate healing among the most critically ill.

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, moving, powerful September 22, 2008
This film is an hour-long look at the practice -- the very uncommon practice - of using poetry and art as part of an effort to re-humanize modern medical care. Perhaps because I am a doctor myself, I feared from the title that the film would be maudlin, saccharine, or depressing. It is none of these things. Instead, this is a thoughtful, moving, and powerful examination of the efforts of several doctors to re-infuse emotional connection and healing into the technology-dominated enterprise of giving medical care to sick and dying people. The film portrays not only the effect of using poetry in medicine on the patients, but also on the doctors themselves, and on a group of up-and-coming medical students. Even though the subject matter sounds very heavy, the film itself is not; it's inspiring. I thought about it for days afterward, weeks -- heck, I'm still thinking about it. I encourage anybody who is a doctor or a patient or anyone who may one day become a patient, to watch this extraordinary film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetry heals October 18, 2009
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I write poetry one on one with residents at our health care center. Words that come out of the soul, come forth creatively, and as a result they heal. This DVD validates the work that I do daily with older adults who are in skilled nursing care. This DVD brought me to tears as I watched the words and the movement come forth in those who would otherwise be "bound up". The arts set the inner self free to be creative and in turn bring wellness.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and possible March 13, 2009
By Ruth M
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This film shows the inspiring work of John Fox, poetry therapist, and other remarkable artists and medical professionals engaged in the use of the arts for healing. I work as aa medical family therapist in pediatric hematology-oncology and what has touched me the most is seeing what is possible. Often we see inspiring work and think that we could never do anything like that, or it wouldn't work in my setting, or in some other way feel disconnected form the work presented, as if great people do things differently from ordinary people at their jobs. In this film we see that art and healing are truly for us all. We see what a difference someone truly engaged and listening can make. The healing extends to us a viewers, as well. It has affected my work and I have shared it with colleagues. I expect to continue to do so for the rest of my career.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring!!! November 18, 2011
By DianeR
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This DVD shows the possibilities of healing that exist when patients find poetry and other forms of art available during recovery and treatment following illness and medical problems. The doctors at Shands Hospital invite and encourage healing by their willingness to participate in the Arts in Medicine program and by showing their own human responses. And poet therapist John Fox is amazing as he helps patients and doctors find the words to speak what is in their hearts. Watching this is a healing experience!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Healing Words: Poetry and Medicine April 29, 2012
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This documentary is truly inspirational, often moving, as well as informative; it really demonstrates that art and poetry can and should be more widely recognize as effective components of the healing journey. The film also shows that poetry can build connectedness as it erases the barriers of roles between patients and physicians. Healing Words gives hope, that it's possible for medical care institutions to shift from their cold and sterile atmosphere, to become more hospitable to the soul and to honor the strengths of the human spirit.
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