Those guiding others through the tumultuous, complex, and painful journey with addiction are tasked with great expectations. One is expected to help others through these emotional transformations and conduct one’s time with each individual in a wholly unique way.
Whether it’s personalizing treatment plans and therapeutic approaches at a drug and alcohol inpatient treatment center or tracking the progress and history of each individual, this onslaught of information and expectations can be challenging to manage. Finding a way to see patients more clearly is essential for developing effective and personalized treatment plans while ensuring that one’s own practices continue to bridge the important development of trust and relationships.
The Difficulty of Maintaining a Clear View
Seeing patients clearly is paramount. However, it is also exhausting to do consistently, and compassion fatigue, burnout, and more can all compromise a professional’s ability to view their patients as the wholly unique individuals they are. It can be tempting to fall into a staple form applicable across all patients — a consistent, rigid structure to slot different names into while following the beats to provide one’s own mind a break from the stresses of being a professional in the addiction recovery sphere.
However, while it is difficult to maintain a consistent level of mental commitment, it is paramount for those navigating their newfound sobriety. Being seen as an individual is necessary for one’s continued progress toward their sober goals. Being seen as an individual is the groundwork for creating a new sober identity and is crucial in creating personalized goals and maintaining one’s desire to push through the hurdle-laden path toward sustained sobriety.
No part of the process of addiction recovery is easy on either end — either for those navigating sobriety for the first time or those tasked with getting intimately invested in such a complex process on a regular basis. However, there are ways to ensure that one continues to reinforce the individuality of each patient throughout the process while practicing applicable methods to continue to retrain oneself to prepare for the unique needs, goals, and histories of each patient.
Practicing Individualized Applications
There are some simple ways that clinicians can see their patients in a clear light. While each individual may be suffering from addiction, that doesn’t mean that the disease manifests and carries the same consequences and symptoms in each person. Incorporating regular strategies to ensure that each session begins with a personalized element is essential for maintaining a consistent level of care and support across all unique patients.
Begin With Open Discussion
As an individual first steps into their recovery journey, there can be a lot of expected challenges. Detox, headaches, and a confused emotional state can pollute many different people, and it can be easy to see these steps as a generalized part of recovery. However, this beginning is also the best time to create a unique perspective of individual patients.
Eschewing these expectations and listening to the patients from the first day can build a new image of each individual. Rather than predicting the symptoms that one may face and assuming the hardships therein, listening to the language and descriptions of individuals can provide a better landscape of their unique situation and inform the most important aspects of one’s recovery.
Some may mention their families or loved ones in context with their recovery, while others may begin with mentioning professional regrets. Even the same symptoms can inform different goals, and latching onto these priorities early in an individual’s recovery can promote the best approach to a new, personalized treatment plan.
Ask Directed Questions
It is essential to get to the heart and history of how addiction has impacted each individual. Using direct, personalized questions over generalities can promote this kind of dialogue while ensuring that patients feel heard. Instead of asking questions like “How’s the family?” it can be more impactful to sprinkle in the known names of one’s familial unit or even be okay with asking for the names of these family members to use in a later conversation.
Asking “How have you and Stacy been getting along?” not only helps patients feel heard, as it is a question that directly involves aspects of one’s personal life, but is also still working to further get to the heart of any relationship hurdles that may have been created as a result of addiction.
Don’t Compromise Yourself
Seeing patients as individuals demands that clinicians also see and present themselves in an equally personal measure. Being willing to share in one’s own interests — favorite genres of movies, literature, music, or hobbies — can all scaffold the necessary dialogue to comfort patients to share this kind of information themselves. While divulging too much can lead to its own risks, there is much to be gained by demonstrating the ability to present oneself as an individual. Working to showcase one’s own individuality can promote a healthy, personalized relationship with each patient.
Seeing patients more clearly is an essential part of each patients’ recovery. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we understand the unique need for individuality and personal goals throughout the addiction recovery process. Addiction is a personal journey, and we are prepared to help patients address how addiction has affected their personal life while instilling personalized practices and strategies most pertinent to their recovery journey. With detox and residential and aftercare programs, our Hawaii drug and alcohol treatment center can help patients along their journey at each stage of their sobriety, all backed by a communal atmosphere and a program catered to each individual’s needs and goals. Individual and group therapy, meditation, mindfulness practices, yoga, and much more, all with comprehensive cultural and spiritual components, can help patients explore themselves and their community. For more information on seeing your patients more clearly or collaborating on treatment plans, call Hawaii Island Recovery at (866) 390-5070.