The Power of a Relationship-Centered Approach

I just returned from the 40th annual American Association of Diabetes Educators conference. This is one of my favorite conferences. I find the passion, caring and commitment of the people who go into this profession almost unparalleled.  

This year's theme was "The Point of Possible" and in accordance with that theme I found a subtle shift of tone in what was shared this year. If terms like "non-compliance" and "adherence" were spoken, they were done so with irony, not regard. Educators are realizing we are all human, diabetes isn't something anyone can do perfectly and one-size-fits-all treatment plans don't work.

My husband and I presented, "Dancing Together: The Power of a Relationship-Centered Approach." In our program we shared a new model for working with patients. For the past several years we've been hearing about being "patient-centered," but that dismisses the expertise of the medical professional. It is in both working collaboratively together, that each's strengths and skills can be leveraged and maximized.  

It is in asking open-ended relationship questions that we learn the context within which patients live and operate, and we should not forget, while information and motivation are viable keys for change, without skills and action, there is no change.

Should you wish to see our slides they are attached here.