Journey to Empowerment: An Introduction

Journey to Empowerment: An Introduction

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.

Clinician Burnout: What’s In It for Agencies?

Clinician Burnout: What’s In It for Agencies?

“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.

Combining your passion with what you are best at

Combining your passion with what you are best at

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.

Clinician Burnout: Can It Be Prevented?

Clinician Burnout: Can It Be Prevented?

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.

Burnout: An Epidemic

Burnout: An Epidemic

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.

Borderline Personality Disorder: 2 Commandments to Follow

Borderline Personality Disorder: 2 Commandments to Follow

“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.

Borderline Personality Disorder: The Role of the Agency and the System

Borderline Personality Disorder: The Role of the Agency and the System

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.

Mentorship: A Tribute to my Mentor: Charmaine Rapaport, MD

Mentorship: A Tribute to my Mentor: Charmaine Rapaport, MD

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.

Borderline Personality Disorder: Clinicians’ Responsibility

Borderline Personality Disorder: Clinicians’ Responsibility

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.

Borderline Personality Disorder: What Is Needed

Borderline Personality Disorder: What Is Needed

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.

The Silence of Trauma

The Silence of Trauma

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: Operationalizing it!

Integrated Care: Operationalizing it!

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.

How do I talk with my patient or client about … ? (Part II)

How do I talk with my patient or client about … ? (Part II)

“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.”

10 Tips to get into the Habit of Reading to your Children: A Child Psychiatrist's Perspective

10 Tips to get into the Habit of Reading to your Children: A Child Psychiatrist's Perspective

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.