Therapeutic Communication Skills

    November 5, 2022

Therapeutic Communication Skills
SAMHSA’s Suicide Prevention App
 
Suicide Safe, for Health Care Providers (3:28 minutes)
 
SAMHSA’s Suicide Prevention App, Suicide Safe, for Health Care Providers Video Transcript
 
Practitioners in primary care and other clinic settings have the opportunity to connect to people who may have suicidal ideation and behaviors of concern.
 
Suicide is preventable; SAMSHA research informs us that one of two people who have killed themselves had contact with a primary care professional prior to their death. In addition, one of five people had seen a mental health provider prior to their death. Some people had gone to the emergency room in the months prior to their death.
 
Even silence is communication. There are encounters when the patient is not ready to fully disclose with the practitioner. Silence in this context can be empowering for the client, and resistance can occur if the pace of communication is too fast. Slowing down allows the patient to gather their thoughts. Cultural sensitivity demonstrates regard for diversity, beliefs, and behaviors. For example, sometimes patients are silent about important things because they want to express sensitive information to someone from a background similar to their own. Respecting communication patterns requires a disposition that demonstrates an awareness of the dignity and uniqueness of each person.
 
For this discussion, you will reflect on the significance of becoming competent in therapeutic communication skills. The professional tone we set needs to be congruent with evidence-based practice. For your initial post, please address the following:
 
Share a time that communication stalled for you.
 
What were the results of poor communication?
 
Did it result in a wrong diagnosis? Incorrect or unnecessary medication? Was there a loss of contact with a patient?
 
Share how you were able to overcome the communication failure.
 
What communications skills would you have liked to have better practiced to change the outcome for the patient?

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