What is it about?

This reflective essay, “Golden,” presents a personal account of a medical student’s humbling and reflective experience in a psychiatry setting. It narrates the evolution of the student’s relationship with silence and their learning to embrace silence as a powerful tool in patient communication.

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Why is it important?

Initially perceiving silence as uncomfortable and a frightening void to fill, the author comes to understand its value in providing space for patients to authentically express themselves. Through several patient encounters, silence allowed for deeper connections and a more genuine understanding of patients’ experiences. These lessons are particularly resonant in the setting of child and adolescent psychiatry, when the well-intentioned expertise of adult mental health practitioners may forestall opportunities for young patients to share their perspectives fully. The author suggests reframing silence as a choice to signal one’s intent to listen, serving as a canvas for others’ thoughts and feelings. Embracing this mindset has transformed the author’s mindset when spending time with patients, replacing anxiety with curiosity and hope.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Golden, Academic Psychiatry, November 2023, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1007/s40596-023-01915-1.
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