presented by Rich Briggs
This course is part of our GCS Prep-Program. Learn more about the full prep-program here: MedBridge GCS Prep-Program.
Therapists often work with seriously ill patients affected by trauma, aging, advanced disease or terminal illness. While it is essential that we bring the highest level of clinical care to each person, we must also bring our humanness; how we are can be as important as what we do. This course explores the psychological, social, and spiritual concerns faced by those in our care, as we accompany them along their path. Exercises include the experience and practice of mindfulness and presence for use as a clinical tool when issues of loss, suffering, and dying arise in patient care settings. The course concludes with a discussion of ways to support and cope with the losses both witnessed and experienced, so that rather than be depleted by this work, we might be fulfilled and become more whole.
Richard Briggs PT, MA has a clinical practice specializing in palliative care and hospice for the past 30 years. He has taught at the APTA National Conference and Combined Sections Meeting, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) Clinical and Management Conferences, the California Hospice Foundation, and is Adjunct Faculty at California State University, Sacramento. His articles have been published in Rehabilitation Oncology, Home Health Section Quarterly, NHPCO Insights and Complementary Therapies Handbook, Geriatric Physical Therapy 3rd Edition, and Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation. He has served as chair of the NHPCO Allied Therapist Section and founded the APTA Hospice and Palliative Care SIG.
The first chapter of this course defines the concept of a contemplative care practice, and will help the participant to recognize clinically relevant live situations that elicit personal reflection. This chapter also introduces the concept of recognizing mind, body and spirit when contemplating loss and suffering.
This chapter takes a closer look at the concepts of suffering and non-attachment. Participants will learn to differentiate between pain and suffering, and recognize mental and emotional responses in order to better identify clinical opportunities to better utilize presence and non-attachment approaches.
Engaging in the practice of mindfulness can help therapists to experience personal awareness of mindfulness for use in client interactions. This chapter will help the participant to recognize the varying cultural manifestations of ‘presence’ and 'beingness,’ and provide strategies to promote mindful awareness in patients.
This chapter delves into the emotional responses of patients and clinicians, and provides tools for identifying opportunities to support patient emotional expression, and to recognize personal responses to challenging clinical situation and the consequences of those responses.
The final chapter of this course addresses an often-overlooked aspect of hospice and end of life care: self care for therapists. This chapter emphasizes the importance of recognizing one’s own issues of unfinished business, and identifying opportunities for growth with reflective self-examination.