How Can Communication With My Healthcare Team Make a Difference In My Recovery?

Man talking with doctor

A 2016 study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse sought to explore the needs of patients with addiction disorders; eighteen semi-structured interviews with participants indicated that interpersonal communication between them and their healthcare team were incredibly important. In particular, participants stated that having a shared knowledge of what one goes through with addiction made them feel more comfortable sharing their concerns, as they felt more understood and cared for. Communicating with your healthcare team means that you have more opportunities to strengthen your relationship – adding more love, richness, and understanding to your recovery.

Previous research has shown that support is crucial to success in recovery – why is this? The people with whom we spend our time with become more influential on us over time, having direct effects on our perceptions of ourselves and the world around us. By forming a good relationship with your healthcare team, you have opportunities to gain more insight into what each of them have gone through, what fuels their passion when it comes to addiction recovery, and more. The longer this connection develops, the closer you may feel to them – giving you people whom you feel you can truly trust and rely on in times of need.

A 2015 study from the Harvard Business Review involved a 20-year evolution of a primary healthcare system for more than 65,000 people. The researchers found that genuine, healthy relationships between clients and the healthcare team was a core factor in the client’s success. If this is the case, what factors are needed to yield this outcome? There are three main components to this:

    • Empathy – understanding each other’s situations and feeling what they are going through is crucial to building that relationship. Ultimately, it comes down to seeing each other as humans who have wants, needs, dreams, and more.
  • Communication – repeating discussed information, asking questions, clarifying for one another key information, maintaining respect and not discriminating or saying things that put one another down, and more all improve the relationship between you and your healthcare team.
  • Shared decision making – by making decisions together, both you and your healthcare team invest in your success.

If you are already part of a treatment program, make it a point today to learn about one of the members on your healthcare team. Talk to them for a brief moment – get to know them for who they really are. If you haven’t yet, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to learn of programs that may be beneficial to you.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and/or mental illness, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.