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“What is saving you now?”

None of us could ever have imagined that we would be a part of one of the generations of history. But our challenge has arrived. In an inspirational message, JHR Editor-in-Chief Dr. Sarah Blanton examines what it means to navigate these uncertain times. She demonstrates how a humanities perspective can well be what saves us and makes us stronger. “I truly believe this cohort of clinicians, experiencing this pandemic, will emerge with exceptional levels of resiliency, compassion, cognitive flexibility, and critical thinking skills…,” she concludes. “Our world will be remarkable in ways we have yet to imagine.”

Profiles in Professionalism With Carol M. Davis

In this personal and insightful interview, Dr. Carol M. Davis relates her process of becoming a physical therapist, noting that the road to professionalism involves a willingness to “mature into oneself.” Describing her experiences working with students entering the field of physical therapy, she illustrates why studying the humanities helps students move beyond viewing their work as merely an occupation. Her reflections steer us towards a deeper understanding of what it means to be an extraordinary professional.

My Journey Using Art as Physical Therapy

May 8, 2020 . by Babs McDonald, PhD

Babs McDonald describes her journey toward recovery from an ischemic stroke through painting and sketching. Through numerous examples of her artwork, she details her experiences pushing through impairment to create images chronicling her life. Based on her success, she advocates for the use of fine art techniques to foster upper limb movement in stroke survivors. Creating her art, she says, has taught her that “there are no failures in my recovery, only new challenges.”

Dynamic Autonomy in Chronic Pain Management: Frida Kahlo Illustrates

As today’s healthcare professionals struggle to address the challenges of chronic-pain management, Debra Gorman-Badar argues that current multidisciplinary programs are missing a crucial component: an updated conception of patient autonomy. She details how expressive therapies help patients integrate their chronic-pain experiences into their lives and promote healing self-knowledge—as Frida Kahlo did through her remarkable paintings.

What’s at Stake With Biomusic? Ethical Reflections on an Emerging Technology

Biomusic, emerging technology that translates physiological signals into sound/musical output may offer utility as an assistive technology for people with autism. The authors explore a variety of perspectives in humanities and social sciences to reflect on the ethical issues at stake with the use of biomusic in rehabilitation.

Perspectives On ‘Person-Centeredness’ From Neurological Rehabilitation and Critical Theory: Toward a Critical Constellation

Jenni Aittokallio, PT, MH and Anna Ilona Rajala, PT, MA explore in-depth the concept of person-centeredness in healthcare and rehabilitation. As a part of their research, they interviewed recipients of neurological rehabilitation, to determine what in their treatment had been truly meaningful for them. The authors suggest that person-centeredness is best viewed as encompassing a complex constellation of factors and issues surrounding each unique patient.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Honoring 30 Years of Civil Rights Protections

May 7, 2020 . by Jamie Fleshman

July 26, 2020 will mark the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. The ADA National Network, which provides information, guidance, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), is celebrating the act’s 30th anniversary with programs and events throughout the year and on its actual anniversary in July. Read this article to learn more about the ADA 2020 anniversary event and other resources.

Toward True Equity: A Call for Further Revisions to the ADA

May 7, 2020 . by Jamie Fleshman

In a timely and important editorial, Jamie Fleshman, SPT calls for new amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act. She identifies a critical contributor to American disability: the continued inaccessibility of public spaces. Attention must be drawn, she argues, to an American infrastructure that has been constructed for “a certain set of abilities,” and is profoundly outdated.

Searching Behind “No!”

May 7, 2020 . by Bethany Shieh, SPT

Congratulations to Northwestern University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program graduate student Bethany Shieh, SPT, the winner of the annual physical therapy student essay contest co-sponsored by the ACAPT Consortium for the Humanities, Ethics, and Professionalism (CHEP) and JHR. In her essay, “Searching Behind ‘No!'”, Ms. Shieh illustrates how we can create space to understand the pain, suffering and frustration that accompany and influence patient care, if we are willing to enter and dwell in our patient’s life experience.

Spring 2020 Resources

May 7, 2020 . by Amber Baas
Spring 2020 ResourcesBy Amber Baas Download the article (pdf) What We’re Watching How Doctors Can Help Low-Income Patients [...]

COVID-19 Resources: Health, Humanities, and Pandemic Intersections

May 7, 2020 . by Jamie Fleshman

To help JHR readers—and clinicians dealing with the pandemic—find inspiration, intellectual stimulation, and even some entertainment during these days of crisis and necessary isolation, Jamie Fleshman, SPT has compiled an extensive list of thought-provoking resources. The materials accessed through the links offered here address ethics, disability, a wide range of the arts, education, and clinical information—all collated from a humanities perspective. Readers are invited to access it frequently for inspiration during the weeks ahead.

Special Call for Submissions

The Historical Perspectives in Art Section is open to scholars and clinicians who are interested in researching art history as it broadly relates to rehabilitation medicine. We hope that you will reflect on your experiences in the humanities of rehabilitation and consider submitting a piece to our journal.

“I define hope as distinct from optimism or idealism. It has nothing to do with wishing. It references reality at every turn and reveres truth. . . . Hope, like every virtue, is a choice that becomes a habit that becomes spiritual muscle memory. It’s a renewable resource for moving through life as it is, not as we wish it to be.”

Krista Tippett