We are gardeners, planting seeds of hope and confidence of change and healthy outcomes for our patients, clients and families.
For many of us these past few weeks, we have been busy planting tiny seeds and small seedlings in our vegetable and flower gardens. We carefully aerate the soil making it soft and fluffy to aid in the seed or seedling to have the best chance of having a good start. Spring is the time for hope and optimum that “this” year will be a year of full harvest and bounty!
After the seeds are planted we carefully water and constantly attend to the garden to make sure the conditions are maximized for growth. We know that both too little water and too much water can devastate our crop. We attend to providing the right conditions for best outcomes.
Isn’t this the same as working with patients, clients and families on behavior change? I find the analogy spot on:
- Aerate the soil making the conditions conducive for growth.
With our patients, we take time and give attention to engage and establish a trusting and respectful relationship and interaction with our patients from the very beginning. Just as in gardening, if we miss or jump past this process of engagement, it is difficult to recreate and difficult to yield a full harvest.
Keep the engagement process alive and well.
- Provide just enough water for maximal growth and refrain from over watering.
With our patients, we consistently monitor and provide just the right amount of attention. We provide support, information with permission, affirmations, confidence and hope. If we overload with information, push or move them along too fast, we often find hesitation, reluctance and perhaps defensiveness.
Keep checking in with our patients and find out what is working well in their process.
- We wait patiently knowing that growth takes time.
This may be one of the most challenging parts of working with patients as we know that growth, change, letting go of unhealthy behaviors and adoption of new behaviors takes time. Both we as clinicians and those individuals we are working with, need to be patient and believe that positive and good things will come. We need to believe in the process
Keep hope alive that change and growth will lead to healthy outcomes.
Transform Conversations. Transform Healthcare. Transform Lives.