Playing the person game in healthcare

Peek, C.J., & Heinrich, R. / Published 2006 / Article

Click here for full text (in PDF format)...

Click here to purchase...

Citation: Peek, C. J. & Heinrich, R. (2006). Playing the Person Game in Healthcare. In K. E. Davis, & R. M Bergner (Eds.), Advances in Descriptive Psychology: Vol. 8 (pp. 267-324). Ann Arbor, MI: Descriptive Psychology Press.

Abstract: A 15-year intervention to better integrate medical and mental health care in a large multispecialty medical group is reviewed. This quest to heal the “mind-body split” in healthcare employs the metaphor of “creating a new game” to help clarify why this task has been so difficult to accomplish in most mainstream healthcare systems and to move existing change strategies to a new level. Integrating care is viewed not as a problem to be solved but as creating a “new game” that eventually becomes a “national pastime” played on “fields” all over the country. Casting current healthcare practice in the game metaphor, the mind-body split in healthcare is characterized as the “organism game” (biomedicine) running in parallel to a “mind game” (mental health), each with its own objectives, rules, players, tools, and playing fields. The problems of forced choice for patients and clinicians between these two “games” are reviewed and how these games are gradually being integrated into a “person game”, with biomedical and psychosocial factors well integrated by teams of physicians and mental health clinicians.