This review appeared in "Somatics; Magazine-Journal of the Mind/Body Arts
and Sciences" Volume X Number 4 Spring/Summer 1996
Physical therapy developed as a field that is enormously helpful for
physical rehabilitation. Physical therapists have been trained to stay
with the physical experience and to refer psychological issues to appropriate
persons within the treatment team or back to the referring professionals.
This book is an expression of a fuller sense of physical therapy, one that
begins to bring in the somatic dimensions.
Barrett Dorko writes that "those of us who have chosen to enter a kind of work that
not only requires that we touch others, but touch them in a way that they cannot
ignore, are doing something that requires courage. Doing this, we must remain steady
in our resolve to remain present with the changes that inevitably occur, and this
requires an endurance and intellectual strength only study and some passion for the
work itself can supply."
Sections include "Making Sense," "Assessment," "Telling the Tale," "Treatment," and
"Focusing on the Therapist."
Dorko says his "essays are about what it is like to spend each day with the task of
manual caring and what might happen if we attended to the stories we heard and told
ourselves." Written as a series of reflections and essays, this book gives you a
sense of the poetry of this practice. We need to share more of the poetics in our
practices; we need more reflections on our somatic experiences. There is great wisdom
in the somatic realm.
Barrett Dorko is a physical therapist. He was graduated from Ohio State University
in 1973. After having served as the senior clinician at the Atlanta Back Clinic, he
has maintained a private practice in Ohio since 1979. He is a published poet, who
is interested in the interface between poetics and manual care.