Our beliefs involve a continuum of thought structures which range from reflective analysis to assumed truths picked up from the culture, misinformed others, or even distorted memories. So whether or not a belief is something seriously considered or not, it was still caused by something…an experience, an observation, an assumption. In other words, they did not appear out of the blue. So, the way beliefs are formed is an important thing for dentists to understand.
The process of reconsidering our beliefs often leads to their modification, or what is sometimes called reconstruction or clarification, and it can happen before or after we have acted on a particular belief.
Often times we act impulsively, or make quick decisions which commit us to later actions, and then, and only with the act or decision behind us -and the outcome of that decision experienced- do we either rationalize the decision, or learn from it.
And that is the moment at which we tend to meet most of our patients. Many of them have been going along with a rather leaderless and vision-less version of dental care, which has then led them to a point of crisis. This point of crisis, either clinical or subclinical, represents a “learning moment” or the opportunity for just another rationalization and maintenance of the status quo.
Co-discovery facilitates patients breaking out of the cycle of rationalizing their declining and failing dental health and condition. It allows them to recalibrate their beliefs, or thought structures, about dentistry, dental health, and what they believe their future can look like.
We all have the tendency to be lazy thinkers. We all want to assume that if we can chew today or if we have no pain today, tomorrow will likely be the same. But as we all know, dental trends can be negative and have a largely subclinical presentation to the untrained eye. And consequently, our patients can easily get to a point of crisis without any awareness.
If we truly have a health-centered practice mission, breaking through this lack of awareness is key – and doing so sooner is always more effective than later.
Honing our Codiscovery skills is therefore essential to the health-centered direction of a practice. And on that topic, Barkley & Kohn most certainly helped lead the way.
Paul A. Henny, DDS
Thought Experiments LLC, ©2018
Read more at www.codiscovery.com