Most people are relatively comfortable speaking about their physical challenges, which provide plentiful, diverse, challenging obstacles over the course of our lives. Meanwhile most people are relatively uncomfortable having similar conversations about what is going on with their mental and emotional challenges. We often compare the complexities of mental wellness to the complexities of physical wellness. We are striving to evolve the conversation around mental wellness, so that we can all feel more comfortable accepting and sharing what is going on with us, seeking help when we need to get better, and generally accepting that our mental and emotional states are quite similar to our physical states in terms of how we can speak about them and deal with them.
Dr. Neil Craton takes a similar approach from a physical standpoint. He views his work as a Sports Medicine Doctor as wholistic in nature and refers to a “Bio-Psycho-Social approach” as critical in dealing with an injury or illness. Even standard physical injuries are not black and white!
“A person who tears their ACL, has the same cognitive decline as a person who has a concussion!”
So many factors are affected by the situation, and every injury is different because it’s impacting a different human.
When a patient comes into his clinic, Dr. Craton sees the whole person and gives space for everything that’s affected by the injury. He deliberately creates a relationship with the patient that fosters open communication and a collaborative way of solving the problem at hand. Rather than seeing himself as the only expert in the room, he realizes that it’s critical for him to learn about the patient’s individual needs, motivations, and priorities. He realizes that he may need to modify his approach based on the other person.
What an important concept for all experts, leaders and humans who work with others!
Connection, communication and openness drive Dr. Craton’s interactions with his patients and with all humans.
“It’s exhausting when we don’t deal with each other with mercy.”
As a privileged, cis, white male, Dr. Craton believes that the main purpose of his expertise is to serve others.
If you are looking to increase your skills at communication and connection, Dr. Neil Craton has many ideas and practical philosophies for you to experiment with!
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