We know that moving someone from a chronic state of pain to a state of safety and empowerment requires some expertise in communication – essentially, “knowing what to say”.
This has more to do with how the session ‘feels’ than simple ‘logic’… Let me explain..
To become allied health practitioners, we have to have a certain level of knowledge, but to get there, we need to be scientists and in essence, driven heavily by our IQ. Seeing as though we all have similar knowledge pools, our ability to take on knowledge and effectively apply this knowledge is one component of what separates us from each other. Even experiential learnings require a level of reflection, re-iteration and adaptation.
Since we’re so IQ driven to acquire the knowledge we need to help our patients, why do we seem to have so much misunderstanding about “what to say”?
You learn what to say, you copy your mentor, you learn from other professionals… but when it’s time to face your client, you either freeze, say things and then wind up explaining yourself, or you miss the boat completely and focus only on talking about their plan on how they will ‘recover’ from their ‘injury’.
Building a sense of awareness of yourself and then other people is what is critical in learning what, when and how to say during a consult. Most people are caught up thinking about whether their management plan is up to scratch, meeting their patient’s needs, doing everything ‘right’ in the consult, scheduling the appointments appropriately, getting caught up on the fact that the patient still has the pain by the end of the session… essentially being in a heightened state of alertness to try and help and now they’re also supposed to understand the patient psychologically????
How about this as a starting point… Ask yourself these two questions:
1. Why are you in a state of heightened alertness in the first place?
2. Who is creating this state? The client or am I doing it to myself?
Throughout the process of this state of alertness, the consult now becomes about managing YOUR emotions, rather than staying focused on the patient.
We are NOT psychologists… We are allied health practitioners.
How are we supposed to help our clients with centrally mediated pain if we don’t know what and why our behaviour is about satisfying our own emotional needs?
Too directive? Maybe you need a dopamine hit
Too passive? Maybe you’re craving some attention
Trying to please them too much? Perhaps you’re scared of a difficult conversation..