Listening to others is one of the most powerful and essential skills a person can have. Truly taking in what someone has to say and understanding their perspective can teach you volumes about someone and give you a window into how they experience the world.
Many people who have not developed this skill let the voice of others drift in one ear and out the other without taking in the information. For doctors, therapists, or counselors, listening is arguably the most valuable skill they can learn. Whether they are treating a physical illness or mental health disorder, they must hear their patients’ concerns, emotions, and thoughts.
As a patient getting treatment of any kind, you should make sure your voice is heard by the people you trust with your well-being. Not only can it inform those taking care of you about things they may have missed, but it can also positively impact the success of the treatment and make you more confident about the process. After speaking to a doctor or therapist, ask yourself a few questions:
- Is there anything I wish I had said?
- Did they answer questions I asked thoroughly and in a respectful manner?
- Is there something I wish they had addressed?
If you feel like the answer to any of these questions is no, it may be a good idea to give that person a call and talk about your concerns. Try writing them down and bringing them up the next time you see them.
Professional or Not, Your Voice Matters
Even though talking about your concerns is essential, many patients feel anxious about doing so. One of the main reasons for this anxiety is the perceived notion that a doctor or therapist’s opinion means more than yours. Although taking the words of a trained professional seriously is wise, your voice is just as important.
Doctors and therapists are trained with as much knowledge as possible to help as many people as they can, but this knowledge can only go so far. They do not know your unique perspective or experiences and do not live inside your body. You do.
If you ask the people who are treating you if they would like you to open up about how you feel or what you think, almost every single one will say yes. Hearing your perspective will only make their job easier and allow them to adjust their plans accordingly. Even if what you think is contrary to what you are being told, it is still important to speak your mind, so your feelings are respected and that all bases are covered.
The Downside of Silence
Even though speaking up may cause some anxiety, the truth is that not saying anything may cause more anxiety. Perhaps the person treating you suggests something that you are not comfortable with, like a specific treatment plan. If you do not voice your feelings, then the quality of your treatment overall may lessen.
Staying silent might even make the difference between a success story and a difficult setback. While you are being treated, your anxiety may grow because you feel like you should have said something, but now you may feel it’s too late. If something begins to go wrong, you may blame yourself for not sharing your feelings earlier.
Even if you end up going through with a plan that you did not want at first, having a conversation about it can help put you at ease. It can also ensure that you fully understand why the plan may be a good idea. If you feel as though the plan may be too much for you, then the professional treating you can offer you other options if they are available.
The Power of Your Voice
Opening up to those taking care of you can be a powerful tool that can increase the likelihood of your success and make your journey more comfortable. It allows you to rest easier knowing that all of your concerns have been taken into consideration. It also can give you the sense that you and the person treating you are working together, rather than having a one-sided relationship. Just because someone else put a plan together does not mean that it is not your plan too. After all, it is your body and mind taking part in it.
Another reason voicing your feelings is crucial is to help catch something that your doctor or therapist may have missed. Everyone is different physically, mentally, and emotionally, so do not assume that this individual may see or know everything. If you are experiencing a symptom that is out of the ordinary for you or feeling strange emotionally, it is always worth sharing.
As a patient in any context or situation, your voice is your most powerful tool. If someone is going to give you the best help possible, they need your input to make that happen. Opening up to others, especially when you need help, can be difficult, but it has many possible rewards and is always worth it. You may even find that overcoming that first anxious conversation makes you feel stronger and more confident in your success. Here at Everlast Recovery Centers, we work with each patient to find the best course of treatment for them. We customize each treatment plan for every client. At our California-based facilities, we offer a comfortable environment to begin your path to success, and our staff is committed to helping you heal. Contact Everlast Recovery Centers today at (866) 338-6925. We can help you take the first step towards healthy living and overcoming substance abuse.