In previous articles, Dr. Andrew Arnold (Chiropractor) has talked about being clear on the destination you want to reach with your patients compared to their perceived destinations.
In this article, Dr. Andrew Arnold (Chiropractor) talks about understanding the real motivations behind your client’s presenting problem or pain, their true destination.
Our patients only know what they know, and don’t know what they don’t know.
Doctor means teacher and therefore, a large responsibility is around educating our patients.
In general, however, our patients do not place a high priority on their health even if we do.
So to help them avoid sabotaging themselves, one way to help them help themselves is to discover their motivators or catalysts, and these are generally not directly health related. One question I often ask my patients is, ‘Other than getting out of pain, are there other goal or expectations?’ Or ‘what is your pain stopping you from doing right now in your life’, or what’s one thing you would love to do right now if you were out of pain?’
You will notice your patient suddenly stops and light up. They will forget about their pain just for a second and go to a happy place. I have heard many, many amazing stories, e.g. my first baby is weeks old and I can’t hold him with my pain; golf is the main activity I love and I haven’t played in months; I can’t kick a football with my teenage son…
These are called key motivators over and beyond pain, and ultimately will help your patients see the destination you want for them, not the one they think they want. Remember, they don’t know what they don’t know.
So once a patient no longer has pain, they need a motivation to continue care and move towards a patient-centered, wellness model if that’s what you believe. Otherwise, your initial care patients will leave as soon as they out of pain and in my view, you have failed in your role as a ‘Doctor’ or teacher.
Find your patient’s motivators.
About the author: