Monday, June 29, 2009

"Words As Symbolic Communication In The Healthcare Setting"

In an excellent article, "Words As Symbolic Communication In The Healthcare Setting," Christopher Bear Beam writes about his experiences as a hospital chaplin and as a patient and how he has used general-semantics notions to help himself and others. He notes:
Today, after a number of years of doing this work, I have concluded that those people who work in the field of the Healing Arts often are not equipped with the understanding of how their words are symbolic forms of communication having great import in their client’s minds. Since they are often seen as the experts in the field (this is starting to change as healthcare moves to more of participatory process, but there still are huge gaps in its practice) there is a primary accountability for taking the lead in communicating in a healthy way. I guess what I’m also saying is that it would be helpful for medical professionals to learn the principles of General Semantics that would give them more tools to work with in dialoguing with the people they serve. Another way of saying this is that it would give them a supportive means of symbol making that leads to more healthy outcomes.
As a veteran physical therapist and general-semantics scholar/practitioner I heartily agree.

The entire article is worth reading, printing out, and studying. And I don't mind that he plugs my wife's and my book Drive Yourself Sane: Using the Uncommon Sense of General Semantics, Revised Second Edition. 8-)

Read Words As Symbolic Communication In The Healthcare Setting

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