From the article, I appreciated having the six key principles laid out. What I found encouraging is knowing that here at Metro – an urban hospital that serves low income patients – we’re already doing much of this. We have also been focusing on social determinants of health.

I appreciated the information about the spirituality of survivors of trauma. Too often, patients/staff/doctors look at spiritual care as religious and don’t see that it’s much more than that and this article pointed that out. The reflection on the woman at the well alluded to it but it’s worth noting directly that she probably had feelings of shame, self-blame, being damaged, or feeling like she was “bad” because of her past experiences. Also, I found it interesting that the writer pointed out that she changed the subject from her life to Jewish/Samaritan arguments about worship. So often, I come across patients who want to keep the conversation “light” and not focus on themselves. Just something that stuck out for me…

My favorite part of the video was when Vicky Kelly pointed out that the people who are in most need of help are the most difficult to engage. I loved her question, “do people with traumatized brains have to get better before we can help them?” I have asked myself this before. Most recently, I visited a woman who was a medical nightmare and she shared with me that she was sexually abused as a young girl by an extended family member. She told me she had never shared it with anyone else. I was disappointed because I did not have the chance to meet with her a second time to explore how she felt her trauma contributed to her health issues.

But in the video, Kelly answers her question by stating that we can never predict which relationship will be the catalyst that sets a person on a path to healing. Maybe the time I gave that patient to really hear her and the trust she felt that allowed her to share her painful story was that catalyst. I’d like to think so. ☺