What’s Our Role as Clinicians?

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What’s Our Role as Clinicians?

In the article, entitled, What Does Helping Others Really Mean?  We explained that we would be dedicating a series of articles to address a series of topics that are most relevant to us. Today’s article is regarding one of such topics, and it is asking a fundamental question: What’s Our Role as Clinicians?

After years of studies, we find ourselves caring for patients, and depending on where we end up, what type of supervision, mentorship, or attending we have, chances are that we were not fortunate enough to have someone either invite us to participate in this inquiry, much less, help us answer this question: What’s Our Role as Clinicians?

In the article cited above, we enumerated the three possible answers to the question of what helping others really means. How this question is answered helps define what the role of a clinician really is, and these two questions are therefore intertwined.

Our role as clinicians, however, is not related just to what we think helping means. Our role as clinicians is also related to the answers to some fundamental questions that include:

  1. Who are our patients and clients?

  2. What is their nature?

  3. Are they in fact broken, like they often say to us, or like the system has been making them believe?

  4. Do they really have to dig into their past over and over again until they resolve that one thing that is responsible for all their pain and suffering?

  5. Is our field catching up with science which has been confirming over and over that the more we look for something, the more we’re likely to find it; which means the more we believe in the faulty notion that our patients and clients are broken, the more that erroneous belief will be reinforced?

These are some of the fundamental questions to answer. These are fundamental questions that require all the attention possible, and dedicating at least five minutes a day to at least think them through, including to ponder upon upon then, and to do so along with a colleague, a supervisor, or a supervisee.  This may be one of the best gifts to ourselves as clinicians and to our patients and clients as well.

There is not to be a right or wrong answer here. But the thing that is certain is that as long as we view that our role as clinicians is to fix our patients and clients, we will also be viewing them as broken. Moreover, if we can ever buy into the baseless belief that anyone can ever be broken, it is a simple indication of our belief that we too, somehow, somewhere, are also broken. For, as Albert Einstein once said,

A human being is a part of the whole called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

Essentially, Einstein was alluding to the well-known scientific knowledge upon which is based the teachings of Carl Rogers, Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow, among others. This same science is related to the process of projection, the process of countertransference, and to the parallel process.

We are unable to expect our patients to elevate themselves as long as we continue to believe that they are broken. As long as we hold such belief our role as clinicians will continue to be to fix them. And as long as we see our role as fixing them, we will be unable to really help them go from the stage of Consciousness of Suffering, to the stage of Consciousness of Empowerment.

What is your role as a clinician? Participating in the inquiry using the above five questions may be more transformative than you may think. Thank you for agreeing to grow to continue to provide the best to your patients and clients, to enhance your ability to make a difference, which in turn will lead to life satisfaction for you and for those around you, including your loved ones and your patients and clients.

We look forward to speaking with you again soon,

Karen and Mardoche