Dr David Reilly
I almost left medicine as a fourth year student. An impoverished science was ascendant in a system I found de-humanising and increasingly ineffective in what would later emerge as the pandemics of stress and life-style diseases. In staying, I resolved to change it, at least within myself. Rather than diseases and interventions, my work became centred on people, their capacity for healing change, and the conditions that affected this – within themselves and the surrounding relationships, environments and systems. Such talk was out of step back then, though not with patients – but I found myself immersed in as rich an enquiry into human healing as I dared to imagine as that impassioned younger man. I have been part of change, and now, having left the NHS after 38 years, I am starting afresh.
Mapping the Human Healing Response: A Foundation for The Fifth Wave of Public and Personal Health
Over three centuries we created four great waves of Public Health that transformed our world for the better. Now we face their failing to stem the pandemic rising tides of life-style diseases. These old maps emphasised external ‘fix-it’ interventions by experts. So what shall we create now? Over thirty years, The Healing Shift Enquiry has explored placing our capacity for healing, recovery and flourishing at the centre of our vision and endeavours. By directly studying ’the human healing response’ a new map emerged, was modelled into one-to-one therapeutic encounter, and then scaled up and evaluated in group programmes (TheWEL and StaffWEL). The remarkable results highlighted a transformative potential in individuals – and have been posited as the basis of the Fifth Wave of Public Health.