Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Family Medicine Activist: Therapeutic Presence

I'm reading, Don't Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart by Kenneth C. Haugk, PhD, a book that discusses "how to relate to those who are suffering" from a Christian perspective.  Family Physicians are exposed to suffering daily.  How do we relate to those persons who are experience loss, grief, trauma, shock, etc.?

There is no formula or "right answer" about what to say.  Haugk writes, " The truth is, in most situations of significant struggle or suffering, nothing you can say or do can make the pain go away."
What to do is easier initially- Be Present.  A caring presence is a good start.
A caring touch or hug may be appreciated as the individual is allowed to uniquely experience and process their situation.
Efficiency and good time management may be wisely displaced temporarily, since, as Haugk points out," sudden breakthroughs do occur in caring relationships, but they are few and far between- and they are not the result of careful strategizing."

Being Present- over time becomes Therapeutic Presence, a basic skill for Family Physicians.  Patience helps Patients.

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