On the US medical system, and meeting you as an ally – not as an expert

One of the things that’s always driven me nuts about the US medical system is that as clinicians, we’re kind of encouraged to mask a lot of our humanity when interacting with patients. 

Almost like we have to pretend like our outsides are shiny and clean.

And then, we expect people to open up to us and tell us about their messy, chaotic insides. And I have to question that.

There’s a detachment when you talk about mental health as a clinician. You are (oftentimes legally) unable to empathize in a relatable way – I see it every day in my nursing practice. The idea that we are “behind the desk”, giving advice in a way that makes us seem like we don’t go through our own shit…it doesn’t exactly foster the feeling of being “seen”, does it? And particularly in mental health, care outcomes are SO influenced by the relationship you have with your provider – and feeling safe, seen, and supported. 

This isn’t to say that a visit should be made up of talking about my stuff. But when a patient tells me about their panic attacks, I want to say – I see you. Panic attacks are scary as hell – I get them too sometimes! Let’s bond over the ickiness of anxiety, and then find tools that work for YOU to move forward.

One of the main reasons I’m starting to distance myself from the Western system is because it feels, in fact, detached. And in mental health, why are we trying to detach?

(Answer: a lack of understanding regarding the importance of connection, cultural stigma, an antiquated system, legal implications, etc…the list goes on). 

Coaching feels different, because here I’m able to say – 

I am not behind a desk talking at you.

I am not “fixed” and you are not “unwell”.

I see you. 

Let me just hold space, maybe throw out different perspectives, and be a mirror for your own growth.

I get what it feels like to be anxious, confused, dysregulated. 

My insides are no different than yours, which is to say: 

We’re all in this together. I’m just here to hold space, provide education, and hold up a mirror for your own development. 

I’m here to help you facilitate your own healing journey by providing tools to add to your mental health tool kit. 

I’m here to listen, and to help you feel seen and heard and VALUED, above all. 

If holistic health coaching sounds up your alley, reach out here, via IG (@charlottesuzanne_), or via email (hola@cswellness.co). I’d love to connect with you!


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