One of my providers told me the other day about a group that is just about to deliver. This is a Spanish-speaking group. One of the patients disclosed to the group at an early session that her partner had left her and she is on her own.
Now, single parenting is a really rough job for anyone, but this is an immigrant who came to this country because of grinding poverty in her home country. So she has few financial resources and even fewer legal rights here. Her situation is dire.
I can imagine that this is a really difficult situation for healthcare providers to face. You know that her problems with her relationships and money are affecting her health. And yet, their expertise is assessing and treating her physical manifestations of those troubles. Providers can’t necessarily fix patients’ environments or personal lives, even though we know they may be a bigger deal to our patients than their blood pressure or BMI.
But lemme tell you, this patients’ group has come through for her. At the end of every session they give their diapers to this patient. They are quietly, behind her back, are planning to give her a baby shower at the next session.
So, the provider in that group does not HAVE to fix her environment. By putting her in a Centering group, she gave her a social support group that is doing it themselves. It’s incredible. And lovely.