Reply To: Validation, Hope and Understanding

Home Forums Restricted content Validation, Hope and Understanding Reply To: Validation, Hope and Understanding

David Schwarzdschwarz

Egocentricity is difficult to overcome. I am much more careful about this now compared to my earlier days in practice, but I can still get wrapped up in myself when time is a factor. I believe that these patients (and I guess all patients) need both our time and attention to feel validated. For example, I see doctors with a residency program partly to be able to be a helpful element to their training (and also because I couldn’t get a referral to a psychiatrist after mine quit outpatient practice…healthcare is such a mess at times). I started with another resident this last month and decided to read the notes as he seemed distracted and rushed in the appointment. He wrote one bit of information that made me feel like he doesn’t understand me: he wrote that I was working part time and left that job to start my PhD. The reality is that I not only am still working and have been doing my PhD even while part time, but I am now full time. Does this really matter? Probably not, but it feels like it does matter because of how meaningful being able to work full time is for me. The reason why I tell this story is that we never know what is meaningful to or patients or what will lead to their loss of a sense of validation and understanding. The funny thing is that the context of feeling like he was rushed and lacked attention led to the lack of understanding/invalidation interpretation of the error in history taking. This is part of why I generally spend substantially longer amounts of time in my initial evaluations compared to others in my profession. I do my best to set my clock aside and just listen, taking the necessary time. It would be great if we could all do that and have space to meet our patients needs without compromising our own needs.