Meaning Therapy: Medicine Of The Future with Larry Dossey, M.D.

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“We should look at meaning as seriously as we look at the cholesterol level or the blood pressure,” says Larry Dossey as he explains a revolutionary concept in medicine. “Meaning therapy is a very powerful form of intervention, and we’ll be seeing more of it in the years ahead.” He envisions the medicine of the future as including compassion and emotional involvement on the part of physicians, and involvement and meaning-full awareness on the part of patients. Through stories and compelling arguments he shows the importance to health of such factors as job satisfaction and symbolic meaning, but warns against overly simplistic interpretations of the profound and complex power of the unconscious. “Meaning enters the body,” he says, “and makes the difference, in many cases, in life and death.” 


Larry Dossey, M.D. is the executive editor of Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, and served as co-chair of the Panel on Mind/Body Interventions of the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine. 

He is the author of numerous articles and books, including: 

  • Time, Space & Medicine (Shambhala 1982)
  • Beyond Illness: Discovering the Experience of Health (Shambhala 1984)
  • Recovering the Soul: a Scientific and Spiritual Search (Bantam 1989)
  • Meaning and Medicine: A Doctor’s Tales of Breakthrough and Healing (Bantam 1991)
  • Healing Words (HarperSanFrancisco 1993)
  • Prayer is Good Medicine: How to Reap the Healing Benefits of Prayer (HarperOne 1997)
  • The Power of Premonitions: How Knowing the Future Can Shape Our Lives (Dutton 2009)
  • The Energy of Prayer: How To Deepen Your Spiritual Practice (co-author Thich Nhat Hanh) (Parallax Press 2006)
  • The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things: Fourteen Natural Steps to Health and Happiness (Harmony 2007)
  • One Mind: How Our Individual Mind is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters (Hay House 2013) 

To learn more about the work of Larry Dossey go to

Host: Michael Toms Interview Date: 12/13/81     Program Number: 2299