Program Description and Learning Objectives

Program Description

Being present with another person facing trauma, serious illness, loss, and grief, requires an awareness and understanding of one’s own emotional responses. Only then can The Self be used as a therapeutic tool in the care of others. The nature of the therapeutic patient relationship, conditions under which it can be effective, and the knowledge and skills essential for the relationship are explored and practiced in these interactive sessions.

The program focuses on the personal awareness, professional knowledge and practical and repeatable skills required to “see each patient as a person” with their own unique story and response to their need for care. A therapeutic relationship cultivates emotional safety and facilitates the individual’s capacity to heal. Participants will deepen their knowledge and understanding about how to be in such a relationship within the context of a highly technical, fast-paced, time-constrained, and frequently chaotic health care environment. We will address questions such as:

  • What is a therapeutic relationship and why does it matter?
  • How does a therapeutic relationship help me accomplish my job?
  • What does the therapeutic relationship have to do with quality, safety and efficacy of care? 
  • Where will I find the time?
  • Is it worth my emotional investment?
  • Is it possible to establish such a relationship in the context of the pandemic?  

Learning Objectives. At the completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the meaning and healing potential of the therapeutic use of self.
  • Compare and contrast attunement and mis-attunement as a condition for being present and connecting therapeutically.
  • Describe four therapeutic practices to strengthen self-awareness and mindfulness in connecting with the self, with colleagues, and with patients and their loved ones.
  • Engage in reflective practice to integrate the therapeutic skills, knowledge, and understanding of the human response to illness, crisis, and loss into daily practice.
  • Explore implications of pandemic on therapeutic connection and compassionate actions. 
  • Discuss the importance of compassion for self and the health care team as a foundation for high quality, safe, and therapeutic care.