“Journey to Empowerment. Interesting book. What is it about?,” asked a kind lady, sitting next to me, on a delayed flight. Our plane had been taxiing for the past 20 minutes. With a smile on her face, she posed that question as she watched me burry my face in this book. It was so buried that I barely caught a glimpse of her bright smile.
“It is rather strange to me that all of us in this room came into this field because we love people, we love to help, we want to make a difference in their lives, and yet, suddenly, we all feel defeated and left with a sense of helplessness and hopelessness and, sometimes, even worse than our own clients.” Paul uttered these words with frustration in his voice, as the rest of the group stared at him in disbelief and then at one another and at Rodis, the consultant and group facilitator.
Life has its challenges, and it has its sweet spots, too. It has its highs and lows and at times one may wonder: What is life all about? Why does life have to be so challenging? Regardless of your nationality, ethnicity, socio-economic background, and profession, you may have or will at some point pose these same questions. You can go about life wondering and wandering, or you can take some time, once and for all, and do some work to find your purpose in life by finding your passion and what you are best at, by combining the two of them and formulating and implementing a plan around it.
After experiencing a phenomenon for so long, it becomes the new normal, the new culture, which is then very challenging to change or undo. It is going to be a slow process, which requires a collective effort from all of us—clinicians, advocates, agency leaders and decision makers—and from the system, as a whole. It will be a process, but it indeed starts with understanding “The Why” of preventing burnout and promoting self-care.
So, yes, I feel more empowered. Every day I feel stronger, happier, and it feels easier and easier to believe that this is the way I’m supposed to feel. This has been my journey and my new path that I look forward to continuing to explore.
Cynicism, depression, and lethargy are some of the manifestations of burnout. Burnout is present in about 21-67% of mental health professionals. The ramifications can be devastating for our patients and clients, our clinicians and advocates, and for our agencies and the healthcare system, as a whole. Burnout can and must be prevented. Self-care can and must be promoted. Here are four reasons why.
Several teachers were complaining about a boy who they felt was not suitable for learning in their type of classroom and school. He had difficulty following instructions and the traditional teaching methods were failing. This was a boy whose brain simply failed to adjust to traditional learning.
“She calls me multiple times a day, at any time, expecting me to just pick up. I don’t know what to do anymore.” Leila was quite irritated, as she articulated these words to Rodis, the consultant to the HOPE Clinic. However, there are 10 Commandments to follow when working with patients and clients suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. In this article we review the first two.
A lack of purpose and direction in treatment has been one of the factors contributing to feeling drained when working with patients and clients suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. This draining propensity is rather common; it adds to negative countertransference and leads to clinician resistance to working with these patients and clients.
The Oxford Dictionary defines Mentorship as, “The guidance provided by a mentor, especially an experienced person in a company or educational institution.” The entire medical field is founded upon a system of mentorship. “To hold my teacher in this art equal to my own parents; to make him partner in my livelihood; when he is in need of money to share mine with him; to consider his family as my own brothers, and to teach them this art, if they want to learn it, without fee or indenture; to impart precept, oral instruction, and all other instruction to my own sons, the sons of my teacher, and to indentured pupils who have taken the physician’s oath…” is the second paragraph of the Hippocratic oath taken by all physicians upon graduation from medical school.
Prior to learning the skills, exploring the reasons why of the skills helps put things into context and helps prepare the terrain for a successful implementation. Strong Countertransference, Draining Propensity, and Splitting Ability are the three reasons why it is crucial for us as clinicians to learn and master the skills for working with patients and clients suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder.
Characterized by a long-term pattern of an unstable sense of self, unstable relationships with others, and profound difficulties with self-regulation, Borderline Personality Disorder is the most common of the ten personality disorders. A prevalence of 1.6% makes it more common than Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder, and, sadly, it has been highly stigmatized both by the non-clinician and us, the mental health professional and provider.
Some believe that we were born “good” and the environment made us “bad.” Others believe that we were born “bad” and the environment ought to make us “good.” One clear thing is that the environment plays a great role in shaping us all.
“In addition to the buy in from all members of the agency; and having a robust multidisciplinary team, to build the most functional team possible, it is essential to pay attention to the following three components: Having a team coordinator with a clinical background; Having a diverse team; and Leveling.
After naming and operationalizing the concept of Integrated Care, it is necessary understand the how of implementing it. One practical way to do so is to look at the different categories of Integrated Care, starting with the integration of physical health and mental health and looking at two of the required components for adequate implementation.
Millions of individuals are affected by the sequelae of trauma, many of them, in silence. The effects of chronic trauma tend to be cumulative, because each event serves as a reminder of the prior trauma and reinforces its negative impact. A child or adolescent who has been exposed to a series of traumas may become increasingly inundated with each subsequent event and more convinced that the world is not a safe place.
Integrated care is the type of care that is provided to our patients and clients, in the most holistic way possible, and the least fragmented way possible, taking into consideration each individual’s needs regarding all the spheres of hers or his lives, including (and not limited to) the physical part, the mental health component, the behavior sphere, lifestyle, among others.
“I have been talking with Peter about diabetes, and we were working on starting an exercise regimen. He recently started to talk about his migraine medication.” Kate eagerly articulated these words to Roger, who then responded, “We will get to talk about medications. But before we do so, let us discuss the remaining 7 of the 12 most common physical health conditions.”
Reading, in general, can provide several benefits, ranging from academic success to connecting with the world; from stress reduction to one of the best hobbies; and from keeping one's brain active to gaining empathy and a better understanding of humankind. Further, reading to your children and encouraging a love for reading from a young age has huge rewards. It helps build vocabulary, and improve analytical and critical thinking. In this busy world with competing priorities, it can be a challenge to find the time to read to our children. But there are things we can do.