“I don’t know if I should be doing this anymore.”
I have heard different versions of this lament from osteopaths over the years. A disillusionment with the profession, or their practice of it. They wonder if they are making a difference, or if the results are worth the effort.
There can be a range of root causes behind this, and I’ve realised that a lot of the resources and other stuff I’ve developed over my highly-chequered career could be useful to people who are struggling with their own osteopathic careers. So I offer a new service to my colleagues: osteopathic treatment for your career as an osteopath.
This isn't exactly “coaching” or “career counselling”; although they might be involved if they are what you need. This is about helping you get unstuck, if you are feeling that you aren’t getting where you want to be and don’t quite know what to do about it.
You might be feeling run-down and/or burned-out. You might be going through a time of wondering whether you are achieving anything with you patients. You might be questioning whether you have done the right thing studying osteopathy in the first place. You might be frustrated because you would like more patients. You might be exhausted and would like fewer patients. It might be something else.
I won’t offer you glib solutions for any of these problems. You drive the process all the way; I’m just be the facilitator/resource person; who you can call on when you find it is useful. As I would for a patient, I will help you to to pinpoint the underlying issues and then help you find your own solution.
It's the same amount I charge for a city-based osteopathic appointment (currently $125 per one-hour session), plus GST. I’ll work with you the way I work with patients: which means, among other things, you don’t need to commit to a pre-defined number of sessions: I will be aiming to get you into a position where you are happy to progress things yourself, as soon as possible.
This could end up going in a range of directions. To give you an idea of possibilities:
* A simple-to-use, iPad-based electronic visual analogue scale, so that you can easily track your results with patients, and we can work through together whether: (i) your treatments are working fine, and you are just down on yourself; or (ii) you really do need to re-think your approach with some or all of your patients.
* An Individual Motivational Profile. This is a conversation- and narrative-based approach that will help you to be clearer about what really inspires your passion. From this, we may decide that: (i) osteopathy isn’t for you; in which case we can talk through options that will work better for you, and how to transition towards them; (ii) osteopathy can provide part of your job satisfaction, but you need other things in your work-life to be really content; (iii) osteopathy isn’t the problem, but the way you are practicing is; or (iv) osteopathy really suits you; we need to look elsewhere to understand your dissatisfaction.
* Biochemical testing, to help you work out why you are exhausted and have lost your “sparkles”.
* Business coaching, using a leading-edge, on-line, practice-diagnosis and coaching system, to help you to have a patient load and practice that works better for you.
I’m based in Sydney, but this can be done remotely, through messaging and Skype/Facetime. (Biochemical testing is difficult for me outside of Australia; anything else can be done from anywhere in the world.)
I like to limit myself to two sessions like this per week, so that my own patient waiting list doesn’t get longer than I want it to be.
I have a diverse professional background that spans learning and development, corporate consulting, business coaching, systems development and osteopathy. Bringing these together, I am able to help people better understand what’s going on in both their mind and their body, and point them towards a way to address these issues. Being an osteopath myself, I get it. I know how incredibly demanding, how rewarding, but how undervalued (by those who aren't our patients) what we offer can be.
John Smartt, Osteopath
“We say 'disease' when we should say 'effect'; for disease is the effect of a change in different parts of the physical body. Disease in an abnormal body is just as natural as is health when all parts are in place.”
AT Still, the "discoverer" of osteopathy,