Thoughtful Therapy

  Helping women find freedom and peace



Do You Need a New Doctor?

Posted on 7 February, 2017 at 8:00 Comments comments (8742)

We have all had experiences at the doctor where we felt disappointed: the time felt rushed, we didn't get all our questions answered, the doctor ran a bit late, etc. These issues are usually excusable, but there are some that deserve a deeper look. If any of the following issues resonate with you, you may have good reason to consider finding a new doctor.

Your doctor makes fun of you or belittles you. When you go to the doctor you should be treated with respect. If you feel your doctor is laughing at you (and you haven't made a joke) or is talking condescendingly to you, it may be time to find someone else to take care of your medical needs. If your doctor calls in other staff to look at you or your body in a way that means, "you've never seen anything like this!," that is extremely unprofessional and you should find a new doctor immediately. If your doctor says, "Ewwww!" about something on your body, it's time to move on. I'm not saying he or she would never be grossed out by anything, but it is unspeakably inappropriate for him or her to indicate this. You are not seeing your doctor in order to become a science experiment or to be treated like a freak show. You deserve, and should expect, respect.

Your doctor is offended when you want a second opinion or when you ask questions. A doctor who cannot tolerate this probably has a large and fragile ego, and is more interested in keeping it intact than in giving you quality care. A good doctor knows she doesn't have every answer, and also knows it is important to consult on cases. She would have no problem with answering any questions you have, finding answers for you if she doesn't know them, you getting a second (or third, or fourth) opinion, and might even suggest it herself. She is not insulted by her patients asking for more information because her primary concern is the health of those patients.

Your doctor insists you need expensive special products you can only purchase from him/her. I'm not saying all special products are bad. However, when a doctor recommends a product you can only buy from him, you absolutely must have it, and it is very expensive, it can be worth it to take a step back and evaluate the situation. The product may be exactly what you need. If so, it's okay to invest in it. It's also okay to take time to think about it and buy it at another time. Or, the product could be something you could easily find at the local drug store or do without. Pushing products (special vitamins, creams, cans of compressed air, etc) can be a red flag indicating your doctor has other priorities than your health and best interests.

Your doctor (or their staff) does not return your phone calls/emails. If you can't get in contact with your doctor to make an appointment or to find out the results of tests, that's a problem. We all get busy, but when repeated calls go unanswered or unreturned, it may be time to move on and find someone else. It doesn't have to be a personal thing, and you don't have to feel bad for going to a different provider. You are your own advocate, and if you aren't getting the care you need, it is up to you to make sure you do.

Your doctor minimizes your concerns. This is different than validating that you are worried, but giving you reassurance, citing specific examples of why you may not need to be as concerned as you currently are. If your doctor calls your concerns silly or stupid, and doesn't actually listen to them, or brushes them off, ie, "Oh, you're fine. That's nothing," you are allowed to say something about this. You are also allowed to see a different doctor. It is true that your anxiety may seem unfounded to your doctor (he or she has a depth of knowledge about medicine that the general public doesn't), but even so, you should expect to have your concerns heard.

January 2017 Goal Check-In

Posted on 10 January, 2017 at 8:00 Comments comments (12277)

It's been a week since you set goals for the new year. How is it going so far?

Do you find yourself as excited as you were when you first decided what you wanted to achieve? Or is your interest already starting to wane?

Don't give up! Take it a day at a time and just keep going. Revise your goals as needed, and set yourself up for success.

Remember: set SMART goals.






Welcome, 2017!

Posted on 3 January, 2017 at 8:00 Comments comments (2992)

The new year is here! Welcome, 2017! Many are excited for you to make your entrance. I have heard and read many people say they are glad to see the back of 2016. It was quite a year, both positively and negatively, depending on your perspective and personal experiences.

A fresh, new year is a great time to start on new goals or make progress on old ones.

The SMART system of goal-setting can be a helpful way to increase your success at goal-meeting. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

Specific: Ask yourself questions such as

Who is doing this? (Presumably, you)

What do I want to accomplish?

Where will this happen?

When will it happen?

How will it happen?

Why is it important? (Benefits, purpose, or reason for accomplishment of said goal)

Some of these questions also address the other elements of SMART, which is okay, and just means you are a little ahead of the game.

Measurable: How will you know when you get there? How much or how many is/are required? Setting target dates or small milestones, in addition to a big finish, can give you boosts of satisfaction along the way and help you stay on track.

Attainable: Is it possible for you to achieve this goal? Is this goal about yourself? It is very difficult, if not impossible, to make someone else responsible for meeting your goal. They don't have nearly the attachment to it or control over it that you do.

Realistic: Is this goal something you are willing and able to work for? Your goal should stretch and motivate you, but not overwhelm you. An unrealistic goal sets you up for failure instead of success, and when you don't achieve what you wanted to, your self image takes a hit, often causing you to feel lower than you did before you started. Take care to accurately assess your commitment to your goal.

Time-bound: What is your time frame for accomplishment of this goal? When do you aim to be finished? "Someday" is unlikely to be a strong enough motivator to help you meet your goals. A deadline helps you narrow your focus and adds a sense of urgency to the mix, meaning that you are more likely to reach your goal!

Some sample goals:

Vague: I will get in shape.

SMART: I will join a gym and work out four days a week to lose 10 pounds by April 1st.

Vague: I will increase my business contacts.

SMART: I will attend two networking events per month, follow up with the people I meet there within one week of the event, and continue to build relationships with them by contacting them once a month.

Vague: I'm going to be a better person.

SMART: I will volunteer at the animal shelter for two Saturdays a month, and speak kindly to the people I meet there refraining from making snarky comments that hurt people's feelings.