Updated: Feb 22, 2021
Have been thinking and reflecting regularly after the Single Session Therapy presentation at this past year’s PCBH Forum. The gratitude for the realization of what can be done in a single encounter and the need to be intentional has been transforming. As I am finishing up charts from Thursday and Friday, a number of PCBH stories come to surface. One related to a female who was coming in for her OB visit and her PCP referred for anxiety. Completing the CI, she disclosed significant ACEs and a recent DV relationship that resulted in her being in the hospital fighting for her life. Another visit that included a patient being referred for headaches and through an interpreter disclosed how she also left a DV situation and was disowned by her family for leaving. Then, another patient that was referred due to chronic pain and weight management explained, again through an interpreter, that she and her older sister had to protect their younger siblings growing up by being the “lighting rod” for abuse. Finally, a patient who works in our hospital and is continuously exposed firsthand to the impact of COVID, detailing their struggle with the moral injury we are all feeling.
Anxiety, headaches, pain and weight management, moral injury? Yeah, makes sense those symptoms are presenting. And, I think about Dr. Rosenbaum’s presentation and how these individuals are still here, still incredibly fighting and moving forward. The resilience, the grit that they show. And, how much can be done in a single visit that includes tears, compassion, validation, resiliency, and, above all, love.
I know all of us working in PCBH, particularly in Community Health Centers, have an infinite amount of similar stories. As always, my mind this morning was struck with the danger of these stories happening so regularly due to our natural tendency to habituate to our situation. The gratitude this morning, largely due to reflecting on Dr. Rosenbaum’s discussion, my mind was not habituating. Instead, it was overwhelmed with gratitude, pain, sadness, inspiration, as I wrote my PCP recommendations for these visits. Words such as resilient, warrior, inspiring were written to describe these individuals and the glimpses I had into their incredible and challenging lives; my appreciation that for 20 to 30 minutes, I was with them during their journey.
As always, my gratitude for this community for creating a context that allows my mind to want to share these PCBH stories. It is healing to not only share but to know the community that we, in the PCBH field, get to be apart of. And, my gratitude for Jeff, Neftali, and all the folks at CFHA that allowed such an incredible PCBH forum to take place. It was and continues to be inspiring, healing, and transforming.