[et_pb_section][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text]It is useful at times to keep this simple paradox in mind: The reason we are alive is that we are dying all of the time…the cells of our body come and go, yet we remain. And if those cells don’t die off in a normal fashion, they become what we identify as “cancer.”
A similar paradox exists on a psychological level as well. We only grow and prosper by letting outdated beliefs and understandings die, and then replace them with something new – hopefully something much more useful or even perhaps much more meaningful.
Our patients face the same situation – and often on both levels. Part of their physical self is failing or even dying, and that might be the reason they have passed though our door. But of equal importance is the status of their beliefs about their situation. What is it that they believe about WHY they are in their current condition?
If their beliefs are significantly out of sync with the reality of their situation, then they bring with their problem a lot a stress as well… their current beliefs are not serving them well – and they don’t know what to do about it.
The great constructivist psychologist Jean Piaget, PhD, called this situation a moment of “disequilibria,” as represented when a person’s beliefs and behaviors are no longer producing their intended or desired outcome. And it is at that moment that the person either learns, grows, and thus reorganizes their beliefs, or they double-down…they deny what is happening, or they deny the realities associated with why this has happened to them.
How we choose to work with our patients at this type of moment is key, because often times if we jump in and rescue them too soon, then the opportunity for them to learn and grow from the situation will be lost…the “learning moment” will have come and gone.
Granted, there are many situations in dentistry where learning on the part of the patient is not crucial to their long-term health…an old filling breaks…they fall and chip a tooth. But many things in dentistry require their involvement if long-term health is to be achieved and maintained.
And that is where Co-discovery fits in. Co-discovery helps patients see their situation in a different light. It allows them to attach new meanings to what they are learning and the long-term implications of their decisions.
In many cases, failing to learn and grow leads to neuroticism and dependency. And both yield out frustration and anger over time.
We have all experienced it.
Paul A. Henny DDS
Read more at www.codiscovery.com[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]