What We Do
Our Heart Speaks is a resource for individuals living with chronic medical conditions and new disabilities. We provide a place for individuals from around the world who despite enormous medical challenges have successfully found meaning and purpose in their lives to share their stories of rehabilitation and healing through personal narrative, poetry, photography, video, artwork and music. “Our personal narrative has the power to heal.” The work of Victor Frankl,* has been a source of inspiration. This interview with OHS founder Dr. Keith Rafal also gives a good introduction to the project.
The emotional impact that medical events of great magnitude have on patients and their families is well understood, but not often addressed in traditional medical settings. In order to achieve optimal function, independence and true wellbeing, patients require excellent medical and rehabilitative care that nurtures our emotional and spiritual needs. There is no specific map or blueprint to follow when one is faced with the challenge of finding meaning and purpose in life despite serious medical conditions. Each of us must find our own path towards healing. The journey can be one of intense personal transformation and a source of inspiration to us all.
The process of telling our stories in and of itself has therapeutic value for both the story teller and the audience who share in the experience. Our Heart Speaks will provide an online library that will be open to the public, while supporting future educational publications, workshops, research and opportunities that facilitate the sharing of patient stories through a variety of artistic medium.
*About Dr. Frankl’s work
A neurologist, psychiatrist, and holocaust survivor, Dr. Frankl wrote the extraordinary book Man’s Search for Meaning in which he illuminates humankind’s ability to face adversity even at its most extreme and still find meaning and dignity in one’s life. To this day his work endures as an important resource for practitioners and patients working with challenging medical conditions.