How does this painting make you feel?

There’s an old adage in medicine that if being with a patient makes you feel depressed then there’s a good chance that person is themselves depressed. So how does this painting make you feel? Depressed, or hopeful? Safe, or vulnerable? Alone, or observed?

Whatever it makes you feel I’m guessing it’s making you feel something. According to first year medical student Amy, spending a prolonged period of time talking to the woman who inspired this remarkable painting helped her to feel, to understand on some level, the impact of living with years of depression. Better, I dare say, than any number of hours spent reading a textbook on depression.

Educator Louise Younie, who oversaw this project, talks about helping students to developed narrative competence, something closely related to emotional intelligence but in which close attention is paid to the life being lived by the person and not just the pathological process affecting their body.

We think this kind of innovative educational initiative is worth sharing with others and so in every issue we’ll be featuring at least one educational case study. To read about this one just follow this link.

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