Why do the Words you use with patients matter?

The evolving science of interpersonal neurophysiology gives us insights into how the relationship between a healthcare provider and the patient can change the outcome. Part of this science is about the words we use and how we use them create an experience that can either facilitate or hinder your treatment.  Although this seems obvious to some, many organizations fail to integrate these essential skills into the patient experience.  

The human brain is a complex meaning machine designed to “make sense” of the experience.  Humans are social beings and have evolved in the context of social groups and psychological constructs that have enabled tremendous advancements.  This “socialness” is possible with a brain that is designed to connect with others, interpret intentions and “feel” the emotions of others. These neural mechanisms are the foundation of successful human interaction.  

As part of precision language...

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Therapeutic Alliance – Three Steps

therapeutic alliance Jul 09, 2020

Three Steps to Achieving a Therapeutic Alliance

This term has gotten a lot of attention recently as the entire U.S. healthcare system begins to move ever so gradually towards a value-based payment model. I think it will be clear to everybody that we will not be able to simply “procedure” people better. At some point we are going to have to engage the patient in a process that ensures their participation in their own health. Whether it is in a rehab context where somebody is trying to recover from an injury or in a general health management environment, it’s clear that building a relationship is the cornerstone to a healthier population.

For those of us in physical therapy, it’s common to think our only task is to help patients recover from or prevent an injury. We can easily get caught thinking that what we “do” to the patient will be enough to get a successful clinical outcome when in fact, it can be very...

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The “New” Science of Patient Engagement

patient engagement Jun 11, 2020

The US healthcare system is struggling to explain how the many technological advances have resulted in anything less than the most effective healthcare system in the world. In spite of the tremendous gains in innovation and technology, the US healthcare system falls well below number one in many areas.

This reality serves to help us step back and consider “why”?  “What’s the issue?” Or I should say, “what are the issues?” We can all likely agree that this in no one single issue, but rather a complex set of variables that have created the current situation.

This course as part of Patient Success Systems in collaboration with the IAOM-US and is designed to focus in on one component of the complex picture of a fractured healthcare system.  

  • What happens between the patient and provider that contributes to a successful outcome? 

This is the fundamental working element in the complex human biological...

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Psyched Up!

I agree that that arguing seems to be an important part of psychology.  I sense that psychology has been mired down in a Game of Thrones where the question that keeps people on the edge of their seat is who will survive.  I am learning through all of these psychology courses that, truly, the profession has been fractured in so many different ways, and not unlike hard science, has struggled to find footing upon which to stand in a unified manner.  Overall, an essential process, albeit messy.

Humanistic psychology’s credibility suffered from a social perception that aligned with movements of the 1960’s existentialism, politics and complementary and alternative approaches to care (Schneider, Pierson & Bugental, 2015), a path divergent from the medical profession’s affinity for a more mainstream approach such as cognitive-behavior therapy (Felder, Aten, Neudeck, Shiomi-Chen, & Robbins, 2014).  Moreover, at the early stages of...

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Physical Distance, Not Social Distance: The Cornerstone of Telehealth

engagement telehealth Apr 09, 2020

The Value of Telehealth

The following are some thoughts combined with an excerpt from an email conversation I had with Mike Studor, PT, MHS, NCS, CEEAA, CWT, CSST, FAPTA.   His question are likely on the minds of many of our colleagues.  

The novel Corona-virus, COVID 19 Pandemic of 2020 has dramatically changed how we do anything and everything. It has plunged us into an existence that is contrary to the human condition: isolation.  As humans, we are not designed to be isolated. We are social animals equipped with nervous systems specialized to connect, interact and create within a social network (family, tribe, clan, etc.). Yet, at this historic moment, we are asked to perform “social distancing” to protect ourselves and others from the spread of the virus.  I strongly pronounce that “Social distancing” is the wrong phrase. Truly, the intent and behaviors we need to exhibit should be physical distancing. We need to be...

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