In late Spring of 2021, Dr. Steve attended a Legatus meeting in northern New Jersey where Keaton Douglas, Executive Director of iTHIRST, was the featured speaker for the evening. Keaton’s talk inspired Dr. Steve to want to learn more about the spiritual dimension of wellness, and how that, coupled with his own clinical expertise, might work to best serve patients who were struggling with many neurological issues, as well as various substance use disorders. Dr. Steve became a participant in the 2nd Seton Hall cohort, becoming a certified iTHIRST Spiritual Companion in the Summer of last year.
When asked how the iTHIRST training has affected his life or the lives of those with whom he works, Dr. Steve replied, “I am applying the iTHIRST companionship training in my practice daily, listening to my heart intently as my patients tell me their stories. When I see/hear an opening to talk about faith and spirituality I ask them how important it is in their lives. If they are receptive, I talk a little bit about iTHIRST and give them resources. “
Dr. Steve is also using the motivational interviewing techniques from the ITSC training to get patients to open up and discern appropriate next steps for themselves.
He shared, “During one of the encounters with a patient, I used the “develop discrepancy technique” that I learned from the course, and it worked. It got my patient to realize what she had been doing wrong. She set a boundary and took action.”
Thank you, Dr. Steve! You have really set an example for others in the medical field to realize the importance of treating the totality of the human person – mind, body, and spirit!
You are a great example and an inspiration to all!