You don’t have to be a therapist

Hey Friends,

I know that practicing medicine is hard right now. There are so many compounding stressors – EHR pressures, medical misinformation, staffing shortages & vaccine hesitancy, to name a few. Currently, one of the hardest aspects of primary care is the lack of resources and support available for children, teens and families for mental health support. Wait lists are long. Even if you can find a therapist, they may not take insurance or your patient’s insurance. Only about 30% of your patients follow up on outside referrals because accessing outpatient mental health is daunting and difficult to access. Did you know I recently provided a training for front office workers at an outpatient mental health clinic to address vicarious trauma they were experiencing because they could not meet the demands of their community? It was sad and disheartening. 

So, then what? What do we do to bridge the gap? I’ve had friends and colleagues taking 12-week CBT courses, becoming health coaches and courses on family systems work. Friends, please stop! You don’t have to be a therapist. Listen, I KNOW that you want more for your patients. I talk to physicians and providers every day who feel like they don’t have the resources, support, knowledge or tools to provide the level of care their patients need right now. But, you don’t need to be a therapist. You don’t want to do that anymore than you want me, as a psychologist, to prescribe medications for mental health treatment. Both of us would know just enough to be dangerous, seriously! 

But there’s still a need. While you don’t have to be a therapist, I DO want you to have access to brief interventions that support kids and families, are trauma-informed & efficacious, bridge a gap for much-needed mental health supports PLUS support early relational and social-emotional health for caregivers and children.

What if I told you that we could do this differently, together? Here are three things you can do right away to provide support in your office that don’t cost you time or money. Or a mental health qualification! 

  1. Listen – Of ALL of the physicians I’ve spoken to, what I hear over and over regarding how to heal trauma and create spaces of safety in their practices is to listen more. Next month, in The Provider Lounge, we’re addressing what I call The Art of Listening. Come and join us – it’s a wonderful learning collaborative full of your colleagues who, just like you, want to address stress & trauma.
  2. Talk about resilience – you don’t have to DO anything or have answers to talk about resilience. Check out Ken Ginsberg’s episode on my podcast, or go to his website – his thoughtfulness and approach to children and families will inspire you! 
  3. Listen to the podcast – The Most Important Medicine podcast is FREE and all about how to provide trauma-informed care and education. This week, I created a 6-month recap. Take a crash course, readers-digest version of how you can begin to create healing spaces for patients within your practice. 

Do you want to do more? For some of you, what I’ve mentioned above won’t be enough. If so, I hope you join me and your colleagues in April for our VIP mini-retreat! Many of you have heard of my trademarked curriculum, Cards of Connection©, created to mitigate stress in trauma with brief, actional interventions within pediatric and primary care visits. In April, we’re going to dive deep into these interventions, learn them together and provide you with tools to bridge the gap that’s desperately needed in medicine. It’s not a replacement for therapy, but it will give you tools that are trauma-informed and efficacious – proven to mitigate stress and trauma and enhance social-emotional skills and relational health. 

Friends, we’re doing something different with this curriculum and I want you to be a part of what we’re doing. You belong to a group of physicians and providers who are committed to going beyond simply treating symptoms of stress or trauma and becoming part of providers who want to prevent harm and create a completely different trajectory for children’s attachment and social-emotional well-being. Plus, most of the physicians I work with experience LESS burnout as a result of having these tools that help them feel more competent. They’ve told me: THIS IS THE MOST IMPROTANT MEDICINE I could learn! Again, this doesn’t require you to become a therapist – it’s a commitment to compassionate, thoughtful, ethical, and considerate delivery of care from providers who want to bridge the gap of needed tools and deliver a different level of care. Believe me, I want you to be able to stay in your scope, but I also want you to be more equipped. With brief intervention strategies that greatly impact not only your competency and your experience as a physician but also increase the quality of care of your patients. You can be a changemaker in the lives of children & families. 

If you’re a physician or primary care provider and you’re interested in this experience that will transform how you practice medicine, I can’t wait to see you in April

Ok changemakers, let me know how this goes – are you trying one of the suggestions above, or are you ALL-IN with me in April? Either way, you can’t go wrong, but I want you to tell me now. Simply reply, I’m all in!

Dr. Amy