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Disruption. Movement. Beauty.

Posted By Lauren DeCaporale-Ryan, Thursday, October 31, 2013

(This post is the first in a two-part series of blog posts following up on the 2013 CFHA Annual Conference. Be sure to return next week for the second post.)

Disruption. Movement.Beauty.

Everyday I find myself using metaphors in my clinical work and role as an educator. Just days after my return from Denver, still actively reflecting on all I had learned and the ideas generated, a patient reminded me of the power of metaphor. He reflected on his artistic work, and said "To be successful at writing, you must do so collaboratively. You must create inspiration. If you work together, you will find beauty and you will move things forward.” This statement, on the heels of messages about disruption, reminded me so much of the work that we are all trying to do.


In one of the final sessions, Drs. Colleen Fogarty and Larry Mauksch (co-editors of Families, Systems, & Health) led a discussion on scholarship and peer reviewed publication. As part of their presentation, they encouraged the group to consider what gaps existed in the collaborative literature. The room generated a substantive list, which included the dissemination of information about how integrative and collaborative work had been applied to specific clinical areas. I left the conversation feeling inspired, with a desire to write more about my experiences and hope that all of you left the conference with similar aspirations in mind. Each of you is doing something creative each day, whether as a clinician or a teacher. Find ways to share this work, to demonstrate to others it is possible to have a collaborative vision and to make it happen. Tell your story.Write or present about the models of disruption that you are using in your everyday life. Not sure how? Start by finding a mentor or just sitting down and writing


Disruption and dissemination can also occur through sharing what we know in the classroom, practicums, and other learning environments. Many students, trainees, and early career professionals participated in a pre-conference workshop focused on Career Innovation. They were encouraged to consider how they can be the next generation of pioneers, with well-established speakers reflecting on their own experiences in integration. Though we know there are often barriers to this work, trainees learned how some of these have already been overcome. Many have since remarked that they left excited to try new things, to implement new ideas, and to help create energy in their unique settings. Movement is created and maintained when we teach others and continue to learn ourselves. How can you create movement? Who can you teach? And who can help you grow and learn?


Seven presenters kicked off this year’s conference PechaKucha presentations. Though they each spoke of disruption, these presentations also provoked thoughts of movement and hope for beauty. We were reminded of the importance of righting wrongs, approaching each patient as unique, and acknowledging that they have families, histories, and stories that are naturally a part of their care.  Laura Sudano reminded us that "transparency empowers” and Dr. Toby Long encouraged us to "foster hope.” These messages articulated that even in the face of challenges and barriers, there is beauty and positivity. We have a chance to create wonder and hope everyday.  

And so I ask you: What will you do in the weeks (and yes, years) ahead to create disruption, movement, and beauty

Lauren DeCaporale-Ryan, PhD is a Family Geropsychologist and Senior Instructor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Medicine & Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She completed her graduate training in clinical psychology with specialization in geropsychology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and most recently completed a two-year fellowship in primary care psychology with specialization in geriatrics and internal medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Her clinical work is focused on providing care to older adults and the chronically ill, and she provides coaching on patient-family centered communication skills to residents and faculty. 

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