A Whole Person Approach to Wellbeing


Building Sense of Safety


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This book builds on the person-centred medicine movement to promote a shift in the philosophy of care of distress. It discusses the vital importance of whole person health, healing and growth. Developing a new transdisciplinary concept of sense of safety, this book argues that the whole person needs to be understood within their context and relationships and explores the appraisal and coping systems that are part of health.

Using clinical vignettes to illustrate her argument, Lynch draws on an understanding of attachment, and trauma-informed approaches to life story and counsels against an over-reliance on symptom-based fragmentation of body and mind.

Integrating literature from social determinants of health, psychology, psychotherapy, education and the social sciences with new research from the fields of immunology, endocrinology and neurology, this broad-ranging book is relevant to all those with an interest in person-centred healthcare, including academics and practitioners from medicine, nursing, mental health and public health.

Johanna Lynch is a GP Psychotherapist and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland, Australia. She consults on family violence and neglect in primary care and teaches GPs and medical students in whole person care. She was recently awarded her PhD developing the concept of sense of safety as a whole person approach to distress.

Section I - Building a Case for a Shift in Practitioner and Researcher Mindset 

1.Transcending Parts to See a Whole - Humpty Dumpty Represents Us All.

2.Reductionist Barriers to Seeing the Whole - Why Can’t the King’s Men Put Humpty Together Again?

3.Transcending Disciplinary Silos: Where the New Science is Leading Us–Seeing All of Humpty at Once.

4.Why Sense of Safety? A Strengths-Based Approach to the Whole. 

5.Senses Protect Integrity, Connection, and Coherence - Humpty’s ‘Sense of’ His World Matters. 

Section II - Building the Concept of Sense of Safety: Insights from Consultation 

6.The Integrative Gift of an Ordinary Phrase - Humpty’s Native Tongue.

7.Sense of Safety Whole Person Domains - Mapping How much of Humpty we need to consider.

8.Nouns of Disorder and Verbs of Wellbeing: Noticing Dynamics can Build Humpty’s Sense of Safety

9.Dynamics of Sense of Safety - What Processes Build, Protect, and Reveal Humpty’s Sense of Safety?

10.Sense of Safety: A Paradigm Shift That is Sorely Needed - Accompanying Humpty and His Community Towards Wholeness.


AuthorJohanna Lynch