The Words Matter Podcast with Oliver Thomson

Dr Oliver Thomson talks with psychotherapist and immunologist Dr Brian Broom about whole person-centred healthcare for The Words Matter Podcast CauseHealth Series.

Show Notes

Welcome to another episode of The Words Matter Podcast.

In this episode of the CauseHealth Series I’m speaking with Dr Brian Broom about his Chapter 14 that he wrote for the CauseHealth Book titled “The Practice of Whole Person-Centred Healthcare” (read chapter here).

Until early 2019 Brian was a Clinical Immunologist at Auckland City Hospital and is Adjunct Professor in Psychotherapy at Auckland University of Technology. He is trained in internal medicine and psychotherapy and now works to train clinicians to practice whole person-medicine and healthcare (see here).

Brian has written three books addressing this issue: Somatic Illness and the Patient’s Other Story, Meaning-Full Disease: How Personal Experience and Meanings Cause and Maintain Physical Illness and Transforming Clinical Practice Using a MindBody Approach: A Radical Integration.

In this episode we talk about:
  • His interesting professional journey from immunology, psychiatry and to psychotherapy.
  • How immunology and psychotherapy seem to be rooted in different paradigms- and how he has managed to bridge the two and addressed any tensions and challenges.
  • The role and value of the story in his whole-person perspective.
  • Relationship-based care; which resonates with my conversation with Dr Maxi Miciak in episode 9, and it will be worth re-visiting that podcast off the back of this one (listen here).
  • What he calls ‘Hearing stories’ and making diagnoses and how these two pursuits relate.
  • Medicine as body only practice and traditional psychotherapy as mind/story only practices and how his whole-person approach avoids this dualism.
This was an absolutely captivating conversation with Brian. The sincerity and compassion in the way in which he tells his own story of his whole person-centred approach really illustrates the way that practice needs to change to be truly person-centred.

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What is The Words Matter Podcast with Oliver Thomson?

The Words Matter Podcast brings you insights, reflections and conversations focused on the latest evidence, theory, philosophy and practice of communication-focused healthcare.

Find out about the more tacit, 'softer' and personal side of clinical practice such as the role of philosophy, beliefs, behaviours, developing therapeutic relationships or the purposeful use of language with people experiencing pain from expert academics, clinicians and researchers from across the world and spanning the musculoskeletal disciplines. This podcast will help you reflect on your own current practice and inform and stimulate you to consider new ways of approaching your practice and patients, to create a better clinical experience and outcomes in people with musculoskeletal pain.

Hosted by Dr Oliver Thomson PhD, an osteopath and Associate Professor who is passionate about researching and educating clinicians on a revised narrative, communication and biopsychosocial approach to musculoskeletal therapy. If you like the podcast, subscribe and check out the online learning and resources at

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