Creating a Safe Practice: 10 Steps to Rewriting the Script of Health Care Trauma

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

November 8th, 2009 • The Humpty Dumpty ChallengePrint Print

(Oh my! A list!)

(Oh my! A list!)

Like it or not, you as a practitioner are in the position to harm your clients or facilitate their healing. Following are ten steps to using your power for good — creating a safe practice and, as such, rewriting the script of previous health care trauma

  1. Recognize that the barrel of our health care system is chock full of rotten apples.
  2. Understand that no matter how empowered, assertive, communicative, and devoted to healing an individual may be, she still may have been victimized by poor health care treatment.
  3. Know that being victimized does not mean being a victim.
  4. Have compassion for the way your client’s life may have been turned upside down, on every level, as a result of poor health care in the past.
  5. Be aware that the person you’re working with may have suffered physical and emotional trauma at the hands of former practitioners she once trusted.
  6. Honor the courage, strength, tenacity, faith, and perseverance it may have taken for your client to get to you.
  7. Respect the vulnerability and anxiety your client may feel in taking the leap of faith to work with you.
  8. Validate that it may take a while for your client to solidly trust her faith in you, no matter how safe and gentle you are.
  9. Embrace the powerful opportunity to rewrite the script for your client – as such helping her heal not only physically, but also emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  
  10. Offer your client authentic TLC (tender loving care), knowing that love is the most primary and powerful healing balm you can provide.


Sara Firman March 17th, 2010

Thank you Loolwa – I shall share this.

Maggie Good April 12th, 2010

Great post Loolwa, I couldn’t agree more, in particular with 5 and 6. There’s a fine line between hands that harm and hands that help/ heal. I find that by the time my clients come to me they’ve often been traumatised by previous therapeutic experiences. It’s a magical and most profound moment when they feel safe and of course, they go from strength after that.  I also agree wholeheartedly with 6 … the courage and tenacity of our chronic pain population is an awe-inspiring thing and never fails to touch me.

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