Joined: February 15, 2005
From: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks for checking in to The Therapist's Coach forum this weekend.
Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living."
How often do you hear people say, "Well, that person is lucky...or "It was fortunate that today turned out so well"?
In Clinical Reasoning we call it Pattern Recognition. Seeing a patient with similar symptoms or problems highlights recall to a clinical case from our past, our collection of patient stories. We know how to act based on accessing this history in our hard drive. "I will treat her this way because she reminds me of this patient I treated ..." We build on our clinical excellence from examining our experience and taking the best from that experience.
How many of us really take the time to look at what happened in OUR day? Do we rush on to the next moment or refuse to examine our less than stellar response from that morning interaction? A large part of our own self awareness and ultimate plan for personal and professional growth has to be taking time for examination. A small chunk of window time for reflection. I recommend not just thinking but to actually record our review in writing. I keep a small black "Aha" journal in my purse (not my briefcase) because I never know when or where I will be writing. But, it is certain I will be writing each day.
This isn't a simple task. It is hard work. To answer the following questions each and every day is to practice self awareness. Something that can be very difficult and sometimes painful.
What went well today? Write down what actually happened. What caused it to go well?
What didn't go well today? The next time I find myself in this position, or in a similar situation, what would I do differently?
Try this for 30 days. (yes, that "habit" stuff is true.)
With our patients, if we are good therapists, we are continually examining their lives in relation to their treatment plans, and their progress or lack of it. Are you examining your own life in a similar way? Are you looking at your own professional growth? With our patients, it doesn't happen for them automatically without our structured intervention. Why would it happen in your own life without the same structure?
John Maxwell writes in his book, Thinking For a Change "Walking slowly through the crowd allows me to connect with people and know their needs. Withdrawing from the crowd allows me to think of ways to add value to them." And to add value to YOU.
You spend so much of your life DOING. Isn't it worth EXAMINING? Good thinking provides for more good thinking. Your good thinking will gain you a perspective for tomorrow.
Joined: February 22, 2006
thank you for that. It is really easy to fall into the "daily grind" I think that is also why (with our busy schedules and fast paced lifestyle) it seems like time flies and sometimes we aren't really having fun. Self examination and reflection can help us appreciate what we do and live our lives, not just participate in it.