Trusting our Clinician, or Not

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I am writing a series of blog-posts outlining self-care in which we examine the tenets of self-care:

Introduction to self-care
moral neutrality
trust (Today’s topic)
patient-doctor relationship/connection

Question:  How do we trust ourselves when we choose to trust our clinicians?  What is your answer? Please tell me your thoughts.  These are some of mine.

…Enters experience, temperament, and personal self-care/readiness to practice of the clinician.

Self-care does.  Self-care is our tool.

The clinician living her own directives is university.  Going to work in a state of readiness is instructive.  At some level, her patient sees that self-care allows the clinician to go to work after personal needs have been attended to.  The clinician then is able to give over space in time, place and emotion and make room for her patient.  Who wants to go see someone for help but instead finds a clinician in role confusion?  The opposite can also be true.  The patient might mistake their own role and try to leave their real illnesses hidden, protected in the safety of their own expertise.

…Re-enters PattyAnne.  Remember her?

PattyAnne was pretty sure that getting an ADHD diagnosis would explain to the people she had hurt a better why for why she hurt them.  It would give PattyAnne a name for the chaos.  Having a diagnosis that comes from a figure of perceived authority, say a Doctor of Medicine, offers this.  It is like a judge who pronounces us innocent and another guilty.  This is not a bad or good motive.  It just is.  To want to get away from negatively perceived labels, is.

As a practitioner, it’s not simple to resist the lure of treatment, when it would be easy to make our patient happy.  It also takes a lot more time in patient education and building a trust relationship if we don’t agree with the patient’s self-diagnosis. Considering these pressures, many have wondered if the frequency of prescribing is affected by it.  For example, it is estimated that 73% of clinician visits for sore throats result in antibiotic prescriptions, but over 90% of sore throats don’t respond to antibiotics. (I know.  That’s robbery!  Those poor other patients who got nothing for their copays!  Not even a prescription!)

So in comes PattyAnne, diagnosis and treatment already in place. All she needs is my signature.

Being a patient is not always easy.  It improves some with insight or at least the ability to receive insight, a vulnerable pose, humility, courage, self-respect and so much more.  Maybe PattyAnne was thinking, “Oh boy.  Now I got this woman who doesn’t know that I’m ADHD!”

We have each other and begin the adventure of patient-doctor relationship, an alliance and a connection.

Self-Care Tip #264 – Trust to improve self-care, and take care of yourself to improve your trust.

It starts and ends with Me.


11 thoughts on “Trusting our Clinician, or Not

  1. It took me a long time to come to trust my therapist, almost year. I like me doctor, we have always gotten along very well. But my last visit he was unsympathetic with me, and that is when I chose to go to the hospital. Now I wonder if I can trust him again. I think it’s normal for mental patients to have trust issues. LS.


  2. Honestly Ive always liked my therapists, but Ive never seen a psychiatrist that I trust. I always feel like Im being rushed, and that the doctor doesnt listen to my opinion, or even my therapists 😦


  3. First, trust is needed in accepting that therapists can be effective. Second, gather health information.
    Most difficult is gaining confidence in the therapist. For me, can’t just look in the phone book. I need to understand who they are. Maybe that is part of the reason it takes so long to go. Which comes first trust or learning how to trust?


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