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Key word here is partnership.

We are not supportive friends. We are not dictating their course of action. We are stepping alongside our patients or clients as a partner.

Top down approach is directive and authoritative. “Follow this diet”

Bottom up approach is what a friend uses. “I’m here. Let me know what you need.”

Acknowledge the partnership. “I am here to help you navigate this journey. You are doing the work and I am supporting you and guiding you.”

Let’s meet them on equal ground.

  • What do we bring to the table?

  • What do they bring to the table?

How to foster this partnership

  1. Create a comfortable space. Virtually or in person

  2. Listen to their story. The best question is a statement that elicits more information. Tell me more.

  3. Reflective listening. Deeper listening that reflects back change talk - DARN

  4. Be curious. Avoid assumptions and conclusions about your patient

  5. Encourage self-efficacy. Don’t overwhelm with “to do’s”

  6. Use SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

  7. Don’t be a problem fixer. Think less about fixing their problem and more about empowering them to help themselves.

  8. Assert authority when needed for red flag issues and safety concerns

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