Thursday, December 12, 2019

"Doctor, I am worried about my child's behaviours. Can you help?"

It is very common in General Practice/Primary Care to see parents who are concerned about their children's mood and behaviours. This can cause a lot of stress for the family. In this video, I have outlined a simple approach on how to assess these sort of problems, and discussed a simple framework on how we can assess and find ways to help these families and their children. I often describe it as the "What, Why, and How to improve" approach.

Monday, December 2, 2019

One way to explain stress to patients using the "fish out of water" story and how we can address that.

When we are stressed, it can often mean that we are a "fish out of water". When the fish is out of water, it may blame its environment for its problem or worse still, blames itself. Either way, it will probably bring itself grief. What the fish needs to do first is to recognize that it is a fish, self understand, and seek water.

Knowing oneself, and finding or creating an environment that is the right fit for us is an important life goal. If we are in our right environment for us, we are more likely to thrive, succeed, and with less stress.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

How to use leverage to look after our patients in a biopsychosocial framework

Everyday we use leverage to assist us with our lives.  We use leverage to help with our finance.  We use leverage to help us with mechanics such as gears in our bikes and cars.  We use leverage in our machineries to build our homes and cities.  But do we use the same leverage to improve our patient's health?  What does leverage look like when we apply it to our healthcare for our patients? 

We will explore that in this video.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Self reflection vs self critical. What's the difference?

To solve a math problem, we need to know numeracy.  To solve an emotional problem, we need to known emotional literacy.  In this episode, we explore the difference between self reflection vs self criticism.  Knowing the difference, will guide us to be more reflective rather than too self critical.  This may help us in improving our self esteem, mental health, and our productivity.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

How to provide psychoeducation around fusion vs defusion for our patients

Emotional literacy is so important for emotional processing, which is so important for managing one's emotion. Without emotional literacy, it would be like trying to solve a math problem without the knowledge of simple numeracy like numbers.

This episode, we are going to explore the idea between fusion vs defusion of thoughts and how that can impact our emotional health.

Tips for final year Medical Students on how to survive and thrive in their medical career

Doctoring can be a very stressful job and hence, being able to understand and maintain our own health and wellbeing is extremely important. We explored with a group of final year Medical Students the biopsychosocial approach to self care and how relational skills can be used to achieve better relational and social health, in order to improve our own mental and physical health. If we, as Doctors are well physically, emotionally and socially, we are going to be much more effective in looking after our patients and community. Reference: 1 5LoveLanguages by Dr Gary Chapman 2 DUMB goals vs SMART goals by Brendon Burchard 3 Acceptance Commitment Therapy 4 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy 5 Emotionally Focused Therapy 6 Grant and Glueck study 7 The Gottman Institute

Sunday, November 3, 2019

How do we explain the concept of biopsychosocial to our patients

Family Medicine in my opinion is really a specialty of the biopsychosocial framework.  It is quite holistic in its approach.  Everyday, we assess our patients' physical health, emotional health, and their social health, including their relationships with the people around them.  So how do we explain the importance of this concept to our patients.  This is my attempt........

How to help our patients improve their relationships in order to help them with their mental health and physical health

In Family Medicine we often talk about the biopsychosocial framework and how to apply that to the care of our patients, but often, the social and the relational health component are neglected.  Here are some tips around how to improve one's relationships in order to improve one's overall health.

How to explain the importance of emotional literacy to patients?

For those who have worked in family medicine, especially in Australia, you will quickly realize that mental health is such a big part of our work.  One of the solution for this epidemic is to improve the emotional literacy for our patients and our community.  I try to explain it here in less than 45secs.  See what you think.  Please leave a comment below.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Should I take a more CBT approach or ACT approach for my patients with mental health problems?

Let us first explore the some terms related to our "emotional world" and what it means.  This is emotional literacy, and it is very important for us to learn in order to solve emotional problems.  Just like learning numbers and numeracy to solve math problems, we need to learn emotional literacy in order to effectively solve emotional problems.

The human mind has a great ability to fuse, hook into, or buy into a story whether that story may be in a form of a movie, story book, or thoughts in one's head.  So when one is feeling sad, upset, happy, or angry, one may have fusion with a story in one's head.

So how can we change this?

We simple have 2 main options.  One is to change our story.  The other option is to unhook, detach, step back, or defuse from that story.  Traditionally, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is more about understanding the story and helping a person to change that story into a more "positive" or helpful one.  Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), is more about coaching a person to defuse or unhook from that story, and once unhooked, the story will natural has less grip on that person.

There are therapists who consider defusion or unhooking from thoughts a better strategy, and at the same time, I personally believe that thought defusion and thought challenge needs to go hand and hand.  Having said that, I do believe that if one is very fused with one's thoughts, it is much harder to do thought challenge effectively.  That is to say that one has to defuse from thought first in order for thought challenge to be more effective.

At a pragmatic level, if one is very fused with thoughts, I would lean towards a more ACT approach.  If one is already defused or detached from thoughts, I may take a more CBT approach.  I personally think that there is a lot of overlap between these two modalities in any case.