Monday, June 30, 2014

Survey: What would you want your physician to know (or not know) about your mental health?

In preparation for a presentation to a group of physicians in August on the topic of mental health in a primary care setting, the wheels have started turning on what the "patient" perspective might be.  There is a significant push towards coordination of care between disciplines, which clearly is beneficial in many ways. From my perspective, coordination of care can mean advocating for sensitivity and communication during medical appointments.  Clients reflect a reluctance to go to the doctor because of mental health concerns.  One might feel judged because of a struggle with addiction, because depression makes it difficult to get to the doctor or even make an appointment, or trauma makes doctor or dental visits frightening, for example.  I realized that as I prepare, I too may be making assumptions about how medicine is experienced by those who are struggling with mental health. So....

I propose a question: What are some things you would like to share with your physician but don't out of fear or in effort of showing respect (or something else)? What are things you hide from your physician? What would help you be more transparent in a medical setting?

If you respond, please leave out identifying information.

If you don't respond, it's okay!

Horses & Happiness; Equine Therapy and Recovery

Our last equine event was one of my most memorable professional experiences.  Witnessing the courage of working through trauma, anxiety, and self-criticism or judgement in such a safe way was a great gift (and by that I mean a gift for me!).  It made me realize some of the limitations of regular talk therapy because the experiential component is missing.  Building trust between human and horse while simultaneously building a sense of agency was different to watch out there in the world versus working through it in session.  This is not to say that psychotherapy is ineffective,  because it isn't.  There is a relationship there that is quite unique and facilitates growth in it's own way; this was just different.  So, that being said, I hope to offer this group monthly (more if there is enough demand).  Right now our next group is on July 30th at 10am.  Our website is  Contact us if you are interested :)