There is increasing evidence that incorporating empathy into care has led to better clinical outcomes.
Some fear that person-centered practice involves too much emotion. They believe introducing the elements of emotion and empathy into the consultation session can be ineffective, unmanageable, and mentally draining.
Managed effectively, emotion and empathy can be empowering for both clients and professionals. The person-centered approach allows you to develop trust and loyalty with clients and help lead them to better overall outcomes.
Did you know?
Empathy is Critical
Empathy involves acknowledging a person's emotions and feelings as they reveal what is important to them. Understanding their hopes, fears, psychological state, and circumstances is as important as understanding the technical aspects of their hearing loss.
Each person shows and receives empathy differently. As a clinician, one does not necessarily need to show outward emotion to be empathetic.
By listening and recognizing your client's feelings, you can start to develop a trusting relationship with them. This in turn can lead to better outcomes and a stronger long-term relationship.
Did you know?
Person-centered care may increase client satisfaction and empowerment, while reducing symptom severity, the use of health care resources, and health care costs.
Empowering, Not Draining
Counseling people with hearing loss and showing empathy can be emotionally and physically draining for many hearing care professionals. Showing empathy does not, however, need to lead to professional burnout.
Sharing client experiences with colleagues or supervisors on a regular basis can help you cope with the stress related with working closely with clients and families. Incorporating reflection exercises into your daily routine, as offered by the Ida tools, can also help alleviate the potential negative effects of emotionally draining experiences.
“I have a really good administration staff and another audiologist that works with me. Between the three of us, we are good at having a catch up at the end of the day.
I think it is important that you discuss certain things with other colleagues to say, ‘Would you do it like this?’ to reassure that you have done it correctly.”