Illness on Order

A doctor once told me, “Once I decided to spend part of my working day at home so that I could make headway on a mountain of paperwork. I hung a ‘Closed due to illness’ sign on the door of my practice – and fell ill straight away. Yesterday I told my daughter-in-law about it. ‘I know just what you mean,’ she said. ‘I fall ill every time you give me a sick note as a favour.’” (28.3.2023)

The story “Illness on Order” illustrates how believing that “anyone who calls in sick must really be sick” can result in real illness, and how pretend or inconsequential illnesses can develop into real ones. The story can also be used as a metaphor for mental and social blocks.

(From: Stefan Hammel: Handbook of Therapeutic Storytelling. Sories and Metaphors in Psychotherapy, Child and Family Therapy, Medical Treatment, Coaching and Supervision, Routledge 2019)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *