This is a troubled time on and for our planet, our patients, and ourselves. The political, social, and economic divisions in the United States, exacerbated by the COVID pandemic, are widening and causing ever greater cynicism and misunderstanding, as well as significantly increased chronic illness, even as they provoke violence. The Russian invasion is an existential threat to the democracy, the integrity, and the future of Ukraine. Meanwhile, largely unchecked climate change presents what is likely an even greater threat to our health and our future.
These crises often and understandably feel overwhelming to us, as well as our patients, causing significant increases in and exacerbating physical and emotional disorders, and stressing every one of us who is doing our best to serve our patients.
This time of crisis can also be a wake up call, an opportunity to restore the physical, psychological, and social balance that has been disrupted, to mobilize our intellect, imagination, and compassion to embrace the larger mission that is the promise of the posttraumatic growth that all of us can achieve, and the goal of our work as healers.
In this session, Dr. Gordon, the former chair of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy, and Founder and CEO of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM) will share with you his inspiring perspective, as well as examples of how he and his CMBM colleagues have made this promise a reality in their individual practices, with hospitals dealing with COVID-19 overwhelm and burnout, with U.S. communities challenged by school shootings, poverty, climate-related disasters, the opioid epidemic, and historical trauma, and in countries devastated by war, in the Balkans, the Middle East, and Africa, and most recently, Ukraine.
- Describe the larger social forces which are contributing to population-wide psychological trauma and the chronic illness it causes
- List key elements in a successful approach to addressing psychological trauma
- Explain the concept of posttraumatic growth and its relevance to clinical practice and public health