Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Persuasion and Healing

  • The anatomy of bibliotherapy: How fiction heals, part II

    Dustin Grinnell Boston, Massachusetts, United States The placebo effect When first exploring literature’s psychological effects on the reader, it is important to consider whether a book can have healing properties by acting as a placebo. In Persuasion and Healing, Jerome Frank discusses the importance of the connection between patient and healer. In his chapter on the…

  • The anatomy of bibliotherapy: How fiction heals, part I

    Dustin Grinnell Boston, Massachusetts, United States Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.— Rudyard Kipling Literature is medicine for the soul In the 1980s, the mother of Northrop Frye, a Canadian literary scholar, was in the hospital, ill and delirious. Seeking to ease her suffering, her father gave her the twenty-five books…