For many years, supervision, consultancy or mentoring has been a normal part of the professional Counsellor’s experience, in recognition of the need for a safety net of care for both client/patient and practitioner. It is, however, much less common in medicine or psychiatry despite the fact that, for GPs in particular, there is an immense and unrelenting pressure with the volume of patients with mental health issues and rarely enough time to even scratch the surface of the problem. Many find themselves constantly under external pressure to see enough patients and not enough time to give the care they want to give – often the reason they came into the profession. In addition they deal with the chronic, acute, terminal and traumatic without support that is objective, and has no other expectations. While management of medical issues is properly the preserve of other medical health professional and annual appraisals, there is a real need for a service that offers care, time and skill to help to reflect on issues that impact personally.
Above all there is a need to help medical professionals learn to look after themselves in their context to counteract the impact of the inevitable pressure upon them day to day.
I can offer support/mentoring for doctors and other medical professionals
One GP identified some of the difficulties/dilemmas that provoke her need for supervision as “…dealing with palliative care patients, dependent patients and those who have medically undiagnosed symptoms. The difficulties of working relationships with colleagues, dealing with complaints and paperwork overload and burn out.”
Another GP I know said: “I wish we had access to that kind of support here. I am coping with work so long as I compartmentalise my feelings but as you well know that’s really not good for me.”