Friday, January 30, 2009

It takes a village to treat a patient

I borrow this borrowed phrase to try to capture the concept behind a role of a group consultation. For over a decade, I am privileged to be in a supervision group with a gifted supervisor and trusted colleagues where we have been working together to become better clinicians and to get sage advice on how to proceed with very challenging patient situations. These are the typical and essential roles of a good supervision. However, in recent years we have come to appreciate a different type of role our group can serve. We have brought some of our patients to our group supervision for a consultation with the group, but also to create a broader support for the clinician and the patients. We’ve noticed that these patients feel more understood and better supported because “the group” is there encouraging them on to do the hard work and that their therapist has “the group” for support and guidance. Over the past year it has helped a couple of my patients to integrate an important element of self-care by knowing that there was “a village” looking out for them.

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