Strengthening the Therapeutic Alliance Through Mindfulness: One Nephrologist’s Experiences
Mindfulness has transformed the way I practice nephrology, in that I am better able to take into account the patient’s perspective. By being fully present to myself, the patient, and the situation, I am more open-minded, accepting, and able to integrate the patient’s situation into my care for him/her. Not knowing how to proceed no longer induces distress in me; instead it opens the door to discovering another way to go forward, one not necessarily “normal” in nephrology. Herein, I present two cases in which mindfulness helped me work through what may be considered “noncompliance,” when in fact the patients’ views, lifestyles, and emotional needs had not been recognized adequately.
Recently, we have piloted mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for nephrology patients and provided a mindful medical practice course for medical students. While starting as an experiment, this may become part of our standard practice in Paris, France.