Caregivers are far more effective when they model what they are teaching than when they are simply purveyors of information. A quiet voice, a heart connection, and suggestions based on personal experience enhance the impact of any therapeutic intervention. In the deepest sense, this is when the therapist is keeping his or her word.
Biofeedback is an excellent example of the importance of therapist congruence with the therapy. Biofeedback introduces instruments or other methods for becoming aware of bodily processes that are usually outside of conscious awareness. For instance, a very sensitive thermometer or electrodes that measure electrical skin resistance may be taped to your hand. Your challenge is to discover ways to raise the temperature of your hand or to alter the electrical resistance of your skin, using the feedback provided by that thermometer or resistance meter. There are no precise instructions that can be given in how to do this. Each person must explore what works best for them. Biofeedback therapists who have mastered these techniques themselves are more effective in teaching them to be respants (Green and Green 1977; 1986).
Internet users often use abbreviations in their quest for ever more time-efficient communications.
BTW - By the way
RUOK - Are you OK?
OIC - Oh, I see
KWIM - Know what I mean
Signing off with
BCNU - Be seeing you or
BFN - Bye for now
Medical charts are full of such abbreviations, as doctors maximize their use of pen on patients' charts in the interests of saving time. For instance:
COPD - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
CVA - Cerebrovascular accident (technicalese for having a stroke)
EEG - Electroencephalogram
EKG or ECG - Electrocardiogram
We have to be careful with potentials for misunderstanding with some of these, such as SOB – Shortness of Breath.
As hospitals move into more wholistic care, some of these become a liability. The Planetree hospital group is humanizing hospital care in a big way. Some Planetree facilities are in custom-built structures that may include healing architectural features, such as an atrium extending from ground to top floors, facilities for relatives to cook home-style meals, and places for family to bed down near their relatives who are being treated in the hospital. Music may be played in the ground floor, audible through much of the hospital. Respants are invited to read their own medical charts and enter their own notes in the charts. When a doctor reads, "Dr. Smith was in a bad mood yesterday. He only peeked in and said, "Hello" but didn't give me a chance to ask about my lab tests!" there is likely to be more doctor-respant communication.
Doctors have learned to not use certain abbreviations where respants might review their charts.
ASVD - arteriosclerotic vascular disease (may raise anxieties that the lab tests showed venereal disease)
BS – bowel sounds
PET – poor exercise tolerance
PIG – pertussis immune globulin
PIGI – pregnancy induced glucose intolerance
PROM – premature rupture of (amniotic) membranes
ROT – remedial occupational therapy
SOB - short of breath (may be taken as a disparaging term)
Unexpressed emotions that fester
We may hesitate to say something that could lead to hurt or anger, often when we are experiencing these same feelings ourselves. If my boss is asking me to stay late when I have family obligations, my emphatic response of outrage might be better off toned down, lest I lose my job. If I am feeling such emotions, it is likely that others I interact with are too. When words go unspoken and underlying negative emotions simmer, they often leave residues of unresolved feelings on both sides of the communications. Unexpressed feelings tend to fester, generating defensive, irritable, and angry interactions.