Building a Kinder Present
We've all been in that spot before. Someone is asking questions that feel all wrong. Or maybe we are being asked to complete forms that seem like busy work. Even everyday forms can be problematic when there is no context or follow up on painful or scary statements. It's less of a big deal at some moments than others. And it's less of a big deal for some people than it is for others.
Sexual abuse survivors are a group for whom it is a big deal. They have been hurt by someone who was in a position of power and control. You are someone in a position of power and control. And while you're motivated by a desire to help, you are still someone with power who your patient may not yet trust.
My clients tell me that when they're working with survivors, it can feel as if they aren't making a difference. They're right and they're not alone. When even seemingly minor issues can be a stressful challenge, what can you do?
Trauma informed practices like smarter screenings and sensitive in-office procedures are simple changes with big impact. They make a difference because even small choices offer power and control. Survivors and other people from vulnerable backgrounds need to feel more choice with providers like you. When they have options, they are more likely to feel trust. When your patients have trust, you feel less stressed. You're not trying to prove yourself. Clients are on time. Advice or offers of support are accepted. More often than not, everyone feels heard and respected.
Here's the thing-
Just because everyone is doing something, doesn't mean it works.
You ask if someone is "safe at home" and what kind of exercise they get. But sometimes what you don't ask and don't do can make the most difference.
Does this sound familiar? Leave a comment below or reach out.