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March 23, 2007

Writing and Healing Idea #28: Consulting with the Wizard of Oz

I had a dream the other night that a patient came to me and she asked me if I thought that it would be a good idea to bring her illness to the Wizard of Oz and ask him what to do. Inside the dream I thought about it for a while, and then I said, yes, I do think that’s a good idea, but I need you to tell me more about what that would be like for you.

What would it be like?

Say, that you were the one caught up in the tornado, landing in an entirely new and strange place, and you told a good witch in a lovely dress that you had just been diagnosed with an illness—or another problem had befallen you—stress—loss—some new and thorny problem—or an old and thorny problem—any one of these will do—and say that you told her that what you really wanted was to get back home (as if maybe you suspected that if you only got home you could deal with this—you could figure out what to do next) and the good witch said, well, the smartest one in these parts is the wizard---and I would suggest you follow this road here. . .

What would happen next?

(And, let’s say, for the sake of the argument, that if this were an illness of some sort you’d already done the usual things—consulted a doctor, seen a specialist perhaps, started some sort of treatment. Say that you were looking for a little more help—not so much with medical care at this point but with the process of healing—figuring out what else you could do, in addition to medical treatment, that might augment the healing inside your body, that might make a difference. As if medical treatment were only the beginning of the quest—say, the crossing of the first threshold—and not its end.)

What might the road be like on the way? Would there be helpers? Someone as kind and bumbly as that scarecrow? As innocent as the tin man? And say you made it to the Emerald City? What would you find when you got there? What would you ask? (Would you want to ask something about purpose? Your quest? Your next task? Or maybe just something about getting back home?) What would you hear in response? And then what would happen next?