On July 21, 2022, Ellenhorn hosted the third webinar in our 2022 New Perspectives on Treatment series entitled, “But What About You? Using Curiosity to Examine Clinician Anxiety and its Impact on Clinical Work” presented by Ellenhorn COO, Laurie Damsky, PMHNP-BC
Clinician anxiety is a very real, and often very uncomfortable, experience. Did I do a good-enough job assessing safety? Did I document the session correctly? Will I be held liable for anything? And yet, when we let these anxieties take over, we lose our ability to be curious, and when we lose curiosity, we also lose a moment of connection with the person sitting in front of us. We might even act hastily in ways that interfere with the client’s autonomy and self-efficacy. Curiosity not only keeps us connected to our client in these moments, it also diffuses our own anxieties in and out of client meetings.
This Curiosity Series session focused on the impact of clinician anxiety. We explored the use of profound hospitality and how this act of curiosity can lower a client’s level of arousal, as well as talk through ways that teams can productively engage with anxiety in a way that reduces affect, has purpose and builds curiosity. Finally, we reminded ourselves to embrace curiosity in times of anxiety so that we are able to return to the real work of helping each client build that aforementioned autonomy, self-efficacy and, most importantly, faith in oneself.