Restoring the Healer

Spiritual Self-Care for Health Professionals

reviewed by Mary Boland

Templeton Press, 2016

William E. Dorman, in his book Restoring the Healer: Spiritual Self-Care for Health Care Professionals, presents a unique and intimate reflection on the work of health care professionals and the stress, joy, and passion of their daily work. Through his chapters, Dorman recounts real-life tales from his own experience that resonate with his readers.

Framing each story is Dorman’s own reflection on the chapter’s topic, whether addressing the effect of burnout and how to avoid it, finding peace and balance in the chaos of tragedy, or accepting and embracing the need for self-care. Dorman consistently delivers a personal but practical look at the many circumstances that health care professionals come up against in their daily work. Each chapter begins with his own experience, such as seeing the patient as a person, accepting limits of both health care and yourself, or rediscovering your zest for being a healer. His expansion of the topic is laced with moving stories that take his reflection and manifest it into a real -experience that paint a vivid picture for the reader.

The chapters all end with a section entitled “Prayers, Meditations, and Reflections” that offers advice and spiritual guidance corresponding to the topic discussed. Prayers speak to the specific emotions and moral struggles that may surface in a health care setting, while readings and reflections help to put every situation into perspective. Dorman’s repeating format, with information and reflections and emotional stories always supported by relevant prayers and meditation, reflects his overall message of staying constant and finding time to re-center yourself within the whirlwind world of health care. In the introduction, he encourages readers to skip around to the topics that resonate particularly with their own needs, and his easily accessible structure allows for this to be seamless.

For all the care and compassion health care professionals are expected to extend to their patients, Dorman provides an invaluable resource for being an exceptional healer by encouraging a consistent practice of self-care that will inevitably benefit both patient and healer. Restoring the Healer is a perfect resource for any health care professional at any point in a career, whether just beginning and filled with enthusiasm or self-doubt, or a veteran and experiencing either burnout or second wind of passion. Restoring the Healer is available at

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