The Existential Medicine Network offers a forum and expanding range of resources for all those devoted to challenging the biomedical model of illness from an existential, phenomenological, hermeneutic, anthropological, logotherapeutic, socio-economic, institutional, psychoanalytic, relational and spiritual perspective.

Its aim is also to challenge the universally institutionalised and yet almost wholly unquestioned and un-phenomenological separation between training and practice in ‘psychotherapy’ on the one hand (including existential psychotherapy) and medical training and practice on the other.

It will do so through sharing and contributing to the current evolution of new forms of existential-phenomenological and meaning-based therapy that are relevant to healthcare in all its dimensions – in particular to medical practice and the meaning to be found in the phenomenon of ‘illness’.

Contributions welcome in the form of comments, articles, further links, additions to our bibliography of literature - and case studies in the practice of psychological therapy for chronic or serious illness. To contribute, post a comment or write to



An introduction to Life Medicine and Life Doctoring – a new existential approach to illness

In a way that is accessible, clear and practically helpful to both patients and health professionals, this book challenges the most basic assumptions shared by both orthodox and ‘alternative’ medicine alike – namely that  illness is something to be cured – rather than being the cure

          WHAT IF …

  • What if ‘explaining’ an illness is one thing, but understanding it is quite another?
  • Illnesses have life meanings and not just biological ‘causes’?
  • The biology of the human body is an expression of the biography of the human being.
  • The life of the human body cannot be separated from the life and life world of the human being in all its aspects?
  • Bodily symptoms are like dream symbols – there to tell us something about ourselves and our lives?
  • Medical diagnosis can damage your health, prescription drugs worsen your symptoms - and biomedical treatments result in more deaths than cancer and heart disease?
  •  So-called ‘scientific’ medicine is really money-driven medicine – making illness a source of profits for the corporate health industry?
                    We would need an entirely new model of medicine – Life Medicine.
                    Psychological counsellors and therapists could no longer leave medical problems and symptoms to the medical profession.
                    Individuals and health services would be spared the huge costs of pharmaceutical drugs and hi-tech biomedical equipment.
                    Doctors could be trained, illnesses prevented and patients treated in an entirely new way –    through the practice of Life Doctoring.
    Patients could be helped to discover the ways in which their illness  is itself the cure  - a potential source of new healing understandings of  themselves and of a healing transformation of their lives.

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