Help Your Patients With How They Think

Build your relationships first….then your dentistry. ~ Bob Barkley

Help Your Patients With How They Think

Posted on

Understanding HOW the brain functions is key to structuring a maximally AFFECTIVE Co-discovery process. This is because creative problem solving -and consequently- problem ownership and follow-through, are almost pure right cerebral hemisphere functions.

Strategically facilitating a person staying in “right brain mode” during a new patient process, sets the stage for “yes” when one’s goal is to gain agreement to a more comprehensive approach to treatment.

Unfortunately, the way every dentist has been trained since the beginning of time does exactly the opposite. It facilitates keeping the patient in a left hemisphere orientation, which is self-referential, and more likely than not to reject a comprehensive approach to problem solving. Why? Because the left hemisphere has no capacity for holistic thinking. It’s function is primarily objective, and it likes what it thinks it already knows.

When we inadvertently keep people in left hemisphere thinking mode we often undermine both our goals for our patients and their long-term best interests. This is because patients will use inductive reasoning (using what they already know, shaded by their biases and desire to resolve immediate needs only) to make their final decision most of the time.

This is why comprehensive “case presentations” suffer such low acceptance rates (commonly in the 30% range).

We all make decisions primarily based upon our beliefs, and if our beliefs are left unexamined or somehow challenged by a stranger in a somewhat emotionally threatening way, we will double down and stick to our existing beliefs even more firmly: “That dentist is just trying to rip me off…”

Bob Barkley and Nate Kohn Jr. developed the Co-discovery method to strategically keep patients in a DEDUCTIVE thinking mode, where they were much more prone to learning new information, re-examine their existing beliefs, and make adjustments where necessary to obtain their now-more-clarified long term goals…goals which have a more holistic self-motivating narrative behind them. And key: Goals which they themselves have co-created.

Such was the genius behind Bob Barkley’s work. Why so few people truly understand what Bob was really doing is beyond me. Perhaps it is because we dentists linger too long in left-brained inductive thinking mode as well, and are able to see it.

Paul A. Henny, DDS


Home Testimonial

“Thanks so much for your continuing efforts to promote and advance the concept of the relationship based practice.” – Jim Otten

Great Forum

What a great forum for sharing the wisdom we have been privileged to gain from those who came before us. Hearing that wisdom expressed in the language of today is so important. ~ Mary Osborne

Get Involved with the
Bob Barkley Study Club Now!

1213 Corporate Circle SW, Roanoke, VA 24018
(540) 774-1577 |

Contact Us