How to Get the Most from your Health Professional

Why do you go see a medical doctor, psychologist, chiropractor or other health professional? Most people would answer that they seek help because they have a problem that needs fixing.  What is the true problem that needs fixing?

You might go to your chiropractor because your back is hurting after lifting something heavy. You see your doctor because you can’t breathe, because you have chest pains, or because you have a fever. You might seek a psychologist’s help because you are having anxiety attacks, you are fighting with your marriage partner, or you want to get over your alcohol addiction.

In each case, something is “broken” and needs fixing. The problem is that when the fever or the backache is gone, or you are getting along better with your partner, it’s life as usual: same routines, same work, same lifestyle and same people.

This sameness is not a bad thing for the most part, but in the process of getting yourself fixed, usually you do not challenge anything.

Let’s look at the “why behind the why,” something I have reflected on for a long time, first for myself and then for my clients. 

Yes, I want to get my blood pressure and cholesterol down, so I see my doc. Yes, I don’t want my neck to be stiff and I want to get rid of my planter’s fasciitis, so I see my chiropractor. And in the midst of grief, I go to Hospice.

However, when I dig a little deeper into the “why,” what I get is that I want to live a meaningful and fulfilling life, with inner peace, happiness and lots of love.

In the years I have worked as a psychologist, clients almost always come with “a problem.” They feel stuck, and in their “stuckness” they experience sadness, anger, anxiety, shame and resentment. When blocks are treated and removed, the negative emotions tend to shift into the positive range. Job done!

However, with a little more probing I have discovered that most people dream of a life of fulfillment and meaning. Each person, of course, has his or her own picture of what that ideal life would be. When we can shift their focus from the problem onto their dream about life, it becomes easier to remove whatever is holding them back in their moving towards that life.

What has happened is this: not only have they overcome the problem, but also they have gained a new sense of direction in life. They are now living more consciously.

I said above that people “almost always come with a problem.” A minority come to get clarity on their life direction and remove obstacles if any appear. They know they have the necessary inner resources. They seek some combination of guidance, mentoring, coaching, consulting and challenge as they create their ideal lives.

What do you say to your doctor, chiropractor or other health care professional? In my experience, each has been a goldmine of knowledge and wisdom far beyond their obvious skills. But to tap into this, I need to speak about my life direction, as well as the immediate problem.

I invite you reflect on the why behind the why when you go to see any health professional. Then make that part of the consult.

You’re not broken, although you may have a block to creating the life you want.

About the Author

Psychologist Dr. Neill Neill maintains an active practice on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. He focuses on healthy relationships and life after addictions. This article was first published on his blog.

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