Saturday, May 15, 2021

Helping our patients through a balance between validation versus challenge

A lot of counseling and Family Medicine work involves a balance or integration of both the authentic validation, and the challenge of our patients’ thoughts and beliefs with facts, evidence and science. Often what’s required is the authentic validation or acknowledgement first, before the challenge can be explored more effectively without resistance.

There lies the “art” of medicine. The timing can be difficult to get perfectly right isn’t it?

If our patients resist, then it’s probably an over-challenge.

If our patients are making no progress or getting worse, then we may have over-validated. 

Over the years, I have observed and wondered if “mainstream medicine” have moved a little bit too much towards the “overchallenge”, and risk losing the connection with some of our patients, and the “alternative therapies” are moving too much towards the “over-validation”, which then have its own set of negative consequences.

How can we get the balance right?

I think being more aware is a good start.

So the real question is....

Are you an over-challenger?
Are you an over-validator?
Or have you got it just right?

For me, I have a tendency to over-challenge and hence, trying to be a better validator. Validation doesn’t mean that we agree or condone, it’s simply acknowledging an understanding, appreciation, and respect of the other person’s position and point of view.

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