When You Hear Your Own Story: The Examined Life Conference 2018, Day 2

Dr. David Thoele introduced me to The Examined Life, and suggested that I submit a proposal for last year’s conference. Today, he and fellow staff from the Advocate system presented their work on how to help patients process their experiences and relieve stress.

His project started by simply encouraging patients to write a journal. When most patients didn’t respond to the open-ended “Write something!”, he looked for other ways to encourage reflection. Eventually, David began doing a 3-minute exercise which involves three simple writing prompts. The 3-Minute Mental Makeover (3MMM) was born.
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The Examined Life Conference 2017

The Examined Life Conference is a gathering for the medical humanities hosted by The University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine. The conference is focused mainly on the intersection of writing and medicine, and is cross-pollinated with the literary chops of organizations like The Iowa Writers’ Workshop and The Iowa Review.

Dr. David Thoele, the Director of Narrative Medicine at Advocate Children’s Hospital, has been going for years. He introduced me to the conference, and convinced me to submit a workshop.

Now that the conference is behind us, here are some thoughts as I reflect on what I took away:
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