The Other Half of Healing

Why we need attention to become truly healthy

Original Title: Die andere Hälfte der Heilung

original edition

Hardcover with jacket, 224 pages, 15.5 x 21.0 cm, 6.1 x 8.3 in.
ISBN: 978-3-442-39339-8
€ 20.00 [D] | € 20.60 [A] | CHF 28.90 * (* rec. retail price) recommended retail price

Publishing House: Mosaik Verlag

Date of publication: November 12, 2018
This title is available.


Leander  Steinkopf - The Other Half of Healing


"An ill person needs more than just the appropriate medication." Leander Steinkopf

When we're sick, our bodies manifest symptoms. We are sluggish, tired, feverish – the well-known defensive reactions of the body. But do these signs of the illness have a function other than combating dangerous pathogens?

Evolutionary psychologist Leander Steinkopf explains the role human interaction plays in recovering from illnesses. Our symptoms are signals to our fellow human beings that we are in need of help. It is only when others recognise our suffering can it subside and disappear.

• For a reconsideration of how we deal with patients

• Astonishing views into the healing process

• How attention and recognition of our suffering are the keys to healing

"In his book, Leander Steinkopf makes a compelling case that current medical systems should recognise our evolutionary need to display symptoms when we need help. One of his solutions is 'continuity of care', which evidence indeed suggests improves outcomes, and, as Steinkopf points out, would reduce stress and increase trust in the medical profession. His book also calls into question the very rationale for patient-practitioner interactions via the internet and other apps, and instead offers a manifesto for face-to-face consultations. I highly recommend the book."

Jeremy Howick, PhD, Director at the Oxford Empathy Programme, University of Oxford, Author of The Philosophy of evidence-based Medicine and Doctor You – Introducing the hard science of self-healing

"Steinkopf's approach to the art of healing is as simple as it is radical. Adopting an evolutionary perspective, he argues that many of the symptoms of illness – pain, fever, lassitude – serve as signals by which the patient can make his or her plight apparent to other people, and so issue a cry for help. Then, if the patient can only be persuaded that they are in safe hands, the symptoms will subside. In this groundbreaking book, he lays out the theory and shows how it helps to make sense of several of the paradoxes of medical care, such as the placebo effect. Building on this, he goes on to make bold practical suggestions for how to improve and exploit the 'other half of healing', what the patient believes."

Professor Nicholas Humphrey, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, London School of Economics, Visiting Professor of Philosophy, New College of the Humanities, Senior Member, Darwin College, Cambridge, Author of Seeing red, The mind made flesh, Leaps of faith and many other books

"The provision of effective, accessible, acceptable, economic and cost-effective treatments is important as well as a constant challenge. However, the focus often is restricted to the obvious parts of an intervention, neglecting both the functional embedment in as well as the dependence of treatments on an interpersonal context. In this regard, much has been said and written on the relationship between patients and their treatment provider as well as the importance of treatment expectancies, but it is here, where Leander Steinkopf's book not only adds an important perspective, but furthermore is the first to provide a deeper functional understanding of why treatments are a genuine social ability. Leander Steinkopf has the rare ability to combine a thorough understanding of different scientific perspectives with a highly accessible prose, without ever turning to the shallow and dull language that haunts so many non-fictional books. Leander Steinkopf's perspective is novel, important and worth the read."

Professor Dr. Jens Gaab, Full Professor and Director, Faculty of Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapie, University of Basel

"A compelling case that current medical systems should recognise our evolutionary need to display symptoms when we need help […] I highly recommend the book."

Jeremy Howick, PhD, University of Oxford


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