When the Conversation Turns Uncomfortable

// Holly Lucille, ND, RN


When the Conversation Turns Uncomfortable

When I first started in private practice my patient intake forms were fairly benign, capturing only pertinent stats and history I thought I needed to garner a good clinical acumen on my new patients. I have to admit, my in person intakes were just as flat. I stuck to the ole’ S.O.A.P notes and didn’t stray into any extraneous territory nor dig deeper into my patient’s story, even though I might have wanted to. After all, I am a very curious person and love to go deep with folks. Looking back, I think I was playing it safe. Sure, I feel I delivered good care but it only went so far, mostly because I was avoiding anything uncomfortable.

“Discomfort brings engagement and change. Discomfort means you’re doing something that others were unlikely to do, because they’re hiding out in the comfortable zone.” — Seth GodinI remember one visit, early in my career, where a woman started to explain some of her chronic stress by sharing the abuse she was suffering from her husband. I sort of checked a box and moved on. Picture me, shaking my head in hands after she left, thinking how much richness I missed out on by not pausing, allowing the space, and listening. This was probably one of the main causes of her presenting upper GI complaint and I skimmed over it.What I found as I dove deeper into the “uncomfortable” aspects of myself, is that I was more capable to work with and take advantage of the deeper information from my patients. In my opinion, this information is the sweet spot that clinically that offers so much rich material for healing.

We are the healing container that our patients seek out to get help and feel safe to partner with. In order to intuit compassion, ease, gentleness, and understanding, providing the necessary space for the immeasurable bandwidth of emotions, feelings, sentiments, and experiences our patients present, it is imperative that we have a process of understanding ourselves.

Whether it be with our bodies (e.g., healing from a physical crisis, being increasingly conscious of how we nourish ourselves, reaching and maintaining an ideal weight); with our minds (e.g., calming the judgmental tendencies we suffer due to our own fear and ignorance of the incongruences we have within the chasm of “knowing” and “doing”); with our hearts (e.g., calming the fires of pain around unresolved or misunderstood emotional issues); or with our souls (e.g., screaming from a deeper place, crying out for attention and begging us to change), we must  become aware and grow our own container in order to be able to authentically and fully facilitate this growth in another person.

Holly Lucille, ND, RN

Dr. Holly Lucille, ND, RN is a licensed naturopathic doctor, educator, natural products consultant, and television and radio host. She believes in the science, art, and mystery of healing and has a heartfelt passion for the individual wellness of all people. Built on this foundational belief, she uses the magnificence of multiple media platforms to truly make a difference and empower people to heal. Dr. Lucille’s private practice in Los Angeles, Healing from Within Healthcare, focuses on comprehensive naturopathic medicine and individualized care.


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