Monday, August 2, 2021

Helping our patients to find and know their values, and commit to follow that


After being a Family Doctor for many years, one can’t help but notice certain repeated patterns.

When people follow the values of others, it makes other people happy.

When people follow their own values, it makes them happy.

Follow one tends to come at a cost of the other.

At times, it’s very hard to balance or reconcile both.

Most unhappy folks I see, struggle to find and know their own values, and commit to follow that. 
 
Which one do you struggle with?

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Helping our patients to better regulate their emotions


In counseling, there’s often two “extreme groups” I see.

1. One group has too much fusion/attachment with feelings, and that strong feelings can overwhelm them at times. They can then over compensate with detachment or dissociation.

2. The other group has too much detachment from feelings, and are often blamed for lack of empathy and sensitivity. They can have difficulties with social functioning. At times, they can over compensate with strong fusion with feelings and often in more reactive ways.

Counseling is in some ways, trying to help these folks fine tune that. Like driving a car, we put slight pressure on the gas pedal. We put slight pressure slight pressure on the brakes, except for emergencies.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Helping our patients deal with “what’s behind the curtain”


What General Practice have taught me over the years is that we often have to look at “what’s behind the curtain” or “dig deeper” when trying to assist our patients.

So….

When we see addiction, we may see shame, not good enough, disconnection or loneliness.

When we see anger, we may see shame, not good enough, disconnection, or loneliness.

When I see behavioral issues in young kids, we may see shame, not good enough, disconnection or loneliness.

When we see anxiety, we may see shame, not good enough, disconnection or loneliness.

When we see depression, we may see shame, not good enough, disconnection or loneliness.

When we see COPD and smoking, we may see shame, not good enough, disconnection or loneliness.

When we see diabetes and obesity, we may see shame, not good enough, disconnection or loneliness.

When we see alcoholic liver disease and severe fatty livers, we may see shame, not good enough, disconnection or loneliness. 

When we see heart disease and poor diet, we may see shame, not good enough, disconnection or loneliness. 

When we dig deeper into health, it tends to lead us to the same place.

We see shame, not good enough, disconnection or loneliness.

If we can fix that, and we can fix a lot of “health stuff”.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Helping our patients with addiction


This week, I have seen a number of folks with struggles around addictions.

Addicted to food, alcohol, sex, and gambling to name a few.

They all had something in common.

1. There are shame and guilt.
2. There are difficulties around processing feelings. They are either too “fused” to feelings or too “detached” from feelings. It’s hard for them to create “a healthy space” for uncomfortable feelings.
3. There are relational issues with disconnectedness or loneliness.
4. There are anxiety with fight, flight, or freeze responses.
5. There are strong tendencies to seek “5 sensory experiences” to escape from their uncomfortable inner thoughts and feelings.

To change, one has to help them with all of the above.