Friday, 14 January 2011

The KIng's Speech Therapist

Saw The King's Speech with Liz and my mum yesterday. A really excellent and really enjoyable film.

King George VIth and his stutter was not particularly well known to me and I found his struggle to overcome this most challenging of personal difficulties very moving. To be afflicted with a stutter and to be in a situation where public speaking is unavoidable is truly painful.

Geoffrey Rush plays the part of the unorthodox and informally trained 'speech therapist' Lionel Logue quite brilliantly. He demonstrates so many characteristics of a good doctor. Getting underneath the presenting problem, forming a mutual relationship of trust but with a willingness to challenge, an ability to think laterally. It may not have been an example of the current vogue for evidenced based medicine and had more of the old approach of anecdotal practice. It reminded me of a comment made by the medical journalist Michael O'Donnell on a course which I attended, 'the trouble of I have with evidenced based practice is that I don't have evidenced based patients'. In other words each patient's treatment has to some extent be individualised.

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