Friday, May 5, 2023

Helping our patients with relationships for better health

I love doing relationship work as part of our role as a Family Doctor, although I do acknowledge that many may not share my view. I certainly see this amongst our medical students and trainees.

Good relationships is one of the best determinant for a long and happy life as per the 75yr Harvard Study. I wonder if you are aware.

I remembered a chapter in Murtagh on this important topic but unfortunately, not much of that was a focus in the training itself.

I hope that this will change in the future.

So what is one of my favorite tips for couples/partners?

Align goals regularly.
Different people with different goals = conflict
Different people with same goal = a great team
So align goals regularly especially in times of conflict.

So what about aligning values and beliefs?

Interestingly, if one can reflect, often the values and beliefs are “underneath” those goals.

Goals are more objective, more “black and white” and easier for people to see. Values and beliefs are a bit subconscious or even unconscious for some.

To align or reconcile the goals, one tries to change the goals but still honor or maintain the values with which those goals are derived. 

Having said that, it is quite difficult for both individuals to align goals when they are both very “zoomed in” or fused in their state of mind.  

Usually this is one of the key issues.  

So to align goals, both have to defuse and zoom out and then from that space, reconciliation or even integration of the two goals can become much easier although still may not be easy.

When 2 people are fused with 2 different opinions = argument. 

When 2 people are defused with 2 different opinions = explorative discussion

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