I’ve been a practicing physician for 20 years. In this series, I share some of the best practices and helpful phrases I’ve learned for talking about bad news and end-of-life issues with patients. This time, I’m reflecting on death and dying, and the lessons patients and families have taught me. Some bonus reflections, after seeing and managing too many deaths: Always thank them I didn’t figure this out immediately. It took me a while. Definitely, no one taught me this secret. For over a decade, I saw doctors treat dedicated family members as some kind of taken-for-granted and inexhaustible resource. They’d just interrogate them for information on hospital admission, and assign them tasks prior to discharge. Never a kind word, it seemed. This is a shame . We recognize the sacrificial work of parenting all the time, and we should. It’s crucial, society building, difficult work to raise a kid. It’s also awesome watching them develop and learn. Giving up your own life … [Read more...] about The Magic Words: On Beating Cancer and More
Lessons my father taught me
Tune in to your own emotions to teach your teenagers to tune in to theirs! Source: David Pereiras VillagrÃ¡/123RF We know that emotion socialization, which is the way parents communicate with kids about their emotions, is an important predictor of later emotional health. The emotion socialization model was first proposed by Eisenberg and colleagues in 1998, and it has been supported in many research studies since. The best part of the model is that it has immediate implications for intervention. Since emotion socialization is so powerful, let’s teach parents to do it right! Research on preschool through late adolescence has consistently supported the validity of the model. As parents are taught to engage in better emotion socialization, their kid’s mental health improves. This holds true for internalizing behaviors such as withdrawal, depression , and anxiety, and externalizing behaviors such as aggression and acting out. The model works in preschool, elementary … [Read more...] about Why Are Some Teens So Much Better at Coping with Stress?
Source: CCO Pexels/ Vera Arsic Summary: We love to hold onto our grudges, nurturing them like they are kindred spirits. We're also the receivers of grievances and their accompanying social media diatribes. Grudges breed hostility and anger , which is linked to heart disease and other ailments. Ancient man harbored resentment with an upside: it played a role in developing the world’s population. Forgive and forget is advice that has been passed down through generations of peacekeepers, television sitcoms and films, and sage mothers from my adolescence and well into adulthood. But is this adage as easy as it sounds? Forgive? Maybe . Forget? Never . We Can't Let Go of Grudges More than three decades later, I have yet to forgive or forget the boy who taunted and terrorized me in elementary school, calling me names and insulting me during recess period. Or the pair of old men who casually grunted racist slurs then laughed at my friends and me, a … [Read more...] about For the Love of the Grudge: Why We Can’t Forgive or Forget
“ White privilege ” has become a widely discussed topic in our current social and political climate. White privilege refers to advantages White people experience that people of color do not experience. White privilege doesn’t mean that a White person hasn’t faced challenges or had terrible things happen to them—it simply means that the color of their skin was not the reason those things happened and that being confronted with racial oppression in its many forms on a daily basis was not one of those challenges (to learn more, see this and this ). As a White person, I often don’t notice my White privilege because I’m primarily surrounded by other White people. I also don’t notice my White privilege because it is maintained by inherently biased structures and systems that I was never taught about in school. However, when I listen to the experiences of people of color, I see that my reality is utterly dependent upon my sociocultural identities and how structures and policies … [Read more...] about Check Your Privilege: An Important Self-Assessment
Source: Pexels It’s easy to come back from a holiday season full of family time feeling less than refreshed. But when you find yourself snapping at a coworker, there may be more at play than lack of sleep and frazzled nerves. If that coworker reminds you a bit of your brother, you’re likely to respond to his prodding in much the same way—especially if you left some things unsaid across the dinner table. As Sigmund Freud taught psychologists more than 100 years ago, unconscious emotions drive actions, as much or more so than rational thought processes do. You may think you’re purely objective in the workplace, but you don’t leave behind your impulses when you walk through your office door. Management psychologists are especially attuned to the ways leaders’ personal lives influence their business lives, whether they want them to or not. When I consult to executive management teams, I often observe patterns that don’t seem to make much sense—that is until you think about … [Read more...] about How Family Relationships Trigger Fighting at Work