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The News from Cuyahoga Falls This Forum tells a story, meanders, but never strays too far from what clinical life might teach us.

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Old 02-10-2008, 12:50 PM   #1
Barrett Dorko
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Default Cattle Call

It’s been a quiet week in Cuyahoga Falls…

Nothing like the right words in the right place at the right time. Nothing.

Today I noticed the words Natural Magic on a silver colored case in a small room at the skilled nursing facility where I’ve landed this week. Just reading it I felt better. I thought, “Maybe I can work those words into some marketing…” I mean, what’s more popular than those two concepts today?

Eddie Arnold’s Cattle Call was huge cross-over country western hit over fifty years ago and I remember my father mentioning it several times but I never heard it until I sat in a Starbucks one morning this summer. It captivated me and after I’d spent the $.99 to download it I added it to the playlist I’d been quietly enjoying in my tiny corner of the office. In amongst all the Art Tatum jazz piano and Livingston Taylor covers of classic tunes (great harmonica accompaniment) Cattle Call stands out.

Therapy, such as it is in these buildings, seems to be something that takes place at a certain time and in a particular location. It is something given from the therapist to the patient and consumed as is possible by individuals with wildly disparate abilities. I know you could make the case that all of this is true on some level and that the way this thing we call therapy is delivered can be justified in any number of ways. Before you do, let me say that I already understand that.

What troubles me is the repetitive and mindless nature of the work when approached in that way. I’ve long had the sense that therapy can emerge from the patient and that a few minutes of authentic and thoughtful interaction without any emphasis on goals, repetition, effort or exhortation might be all that’s needed for an enduring transformation in function and feeling. Maybe I’m wrong. After all, a lot of this stuff is hard to measure.

Somehow, playing Cattle Call for a few patients seemed to help. They all remembered it and swayed to its lullaby-like rhythm. I suggested making it the official theme song of the PT department but it didn’t happen.

Maybe it was the song title the boss didn’t like. Go figure.

Maybe something like Natural Magic Call would have worked a bit better.
Barrett L. Dorko P.T.
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