Why I Mentor Students & Healing Professionals
I have a passion for integrative medicine, and for more than the past 30 years my mission has been to not only be the best doctor I can be, but also to inspire other healers to embrace a more holistic and integrative approach to their own practices. In addition to extensive lecturing and teaching, I take on mentoring clients (as individuals or groups) who are interested in using Mind-Body Therapies and Techniques to enhance their effectiveness in their own fields of expertise.
Healing VS Curing
In our conventional approach to treating people with physical or mental illness, the focus is generally on alleviating the symptoms and ‘curing’ the disease. Curing the disease and its symptoms is the ultimate goal. Nothing else is included in the treatment equation. Healing offers a deeper and more profound experience.
Disease tells a story, not just of the cells, the diagnosis and the body’s mechanical problems, but also of the SELF - our life story and of our mind and heart. Looking at health and healing this way is called “Narrative Medicine” which is about understanding a person’s biography and how it is connected to their biology.
In Integrative Medicine:
We treat the CELLS…
AND the SELF.
It’s not one or the other
We need to do both.
We seek to CURE
AND we seek to HEAL
It’s not one or the other
We need to do both
According to the American Academy of Physicians, 80% of visits to the doctor are for stress related complaints. The #1 predictor of chronic disease is childhood trauma (from the Adverse Childhood Events Study.) 80% of disease is due to unresolved conflict, unconscious anxiety, unfulfilled potential. Disease can be thought of as the Self at war with itself. If we ‘leave the patient’s life outside the office door’ we are ignoring critically important information that is relevant, and quite possibly key, to their healing process.
The ultimate paradox is that we cure by healing, we “do” by being and we free ourselves of pain by welcoming and exploring it with a heart of compassion.
My invitation to those I mentor is to come into a philosophical understanding of this approach to healing as well as to learn practical and applicable Mind-Body Techniques and Therapies to incorporate it into their own practice.
Individualized and Customized Mentoring
Each mentoring relationship is unique. I customize and individualize the work we do together to best serve you, your needs and interests. I’m not going to teach you to practice “my way,” or any particular way, but rather how to integrate some new concepts and techniques, appropriate for your practice, into what you already do.
I start by understanding, honoring and acknowledging your own specialty, approach to healing, philosophy and modalities that you use and explore the types of clients you work with.
Find Your “Missing Ingredient”
From there I offer you additional Mind-Body perspectives, theories and techniques that are appropriate for blending into your specific practice. Sometimes the addition of just one missing ingredient can make all the difference in the success of a recipe. It’s true of healing as well.
As an Integrative Medicine Specialist, I will guide you in combining all of these various components (what you already know and do and new concepts and techniques) into your own personal way of practicing within your field and specialty. My goal is to both honor what you already know and do, and build upon and enhance that foundation for the ultimate benefit of your patients and their healing journeys.
Mind Body Therapies That I Teach
In a mentoring relationship with me you will supplement and expand your knowledge of powerful and effective Mind-Body Therapies & Techniques, including:
- Mindfulness Meditation
- Cultivating Unconditional Presence
- Compassion Practice
- Guided Imagery
- Listening to Symptoms and Inner Wisdom
- Working with the 3 Living Questions
- Internal Family Systems Theory
Who I Mentor
Dr. Epstein mentors Naturopaths, Medical Doctors, Nutritionists, Psychotherapists, Healing Professionals and Students of the Healing Arts. Click here to see how Dr. Epstein tailors his mentoring to the needs of these specific fields and can help you transform your unique practice.
Relationship Centered Care
Relationship centered care focuses on the value and importance of the actual relationship between the doctor and the patient as a key component, extremely important to the ultimate success of treatment, regardless of the specific mind-body techniques that are used with the client.
Part of my work as a coach is to help each practitioner understand the importance of their presence and the power in the relationship that they create with a patient so that it’s impact can be maximized in the patient’s healing process.
Who you are is as important as what you know
Because your “presence” is such an essential piece of the healing equation for your patients, it is really important to understand that, how you “BE” with your patients is as important as what you “Do” when you treat them. Ideally, in our work with patients, we consciously and seamlessly integrate our “doing” with our “being” and who we are with what we know.
I believe that we, as healing professionals, can’t ask our patients to go where we have not been willing to go ourselves. Our willingness as practitioner to be in touch with our own pain and difficulties and to open to them with compassion and an attitude of embrace is a key component of cultivating the ability to be fully present with our patients as they face their unique challenges and transform their pain, stress and illnesses into a journey of self-healing and awakening.
What I’ve come to understand is, the more that I’m aware of and focused on my own healing and engaged in my own process of healing and awakening, the more I’m able to be with patients in their challenges and illnesses and help them open to their pain and ultimately their healing.
“I have heard and find truth in the words. “ A client can only go as far with a therapist as the therapist has gone himself.” When a therapist has done enough of his/her own inner work to enable him to be present and unafraid of the stuff that arises during my work, a space is created in which I feel safe to explore the parts of me that terrify me. If the therapist becomes terrified too, I will hold back. Beyond that, when the therapist has reached a level of self-acceptance in which he can recognize and not hide his unfinished stuff, an opportunity for greater self-awareness is created for me. The therapist has then become a model that my goal in life does not have to be the unattainable perfection or complete resolution I have envisioned. My goal can become simply to accept myself, stuff and all. Then the door to finding peace with myself and others in my life is opened.”
One of the key components in my approach to mentoring is that it engages each client on both the professional as well as this personal level of development. Participating in your own inner exploration and self-healing process is essential to being able to effectively guide patients in their process. I show you how to do this very important work on yourself as well as how to provide that stewardship to your patients.
Why we and our patients need to “Go There” (into the pain)
Experiencing pain is never a on any one’s list of fun things to do. In fact, we spend a lot of our time and energy, as human beings, attempting to avoid pain. The reality is that what we resist persists, what we avoid and turn away from grows stronger and more destructive and disruptive.
The only way out is actually through. At the core of what I do in my work with patients, and what I advocate as a speaker, teacher and coach is that, there is, to paraphrase Alice Miller, “A liberating experience that comes from facing painful truth.”
Who I Mentor
- Medical Doctors
- Healing Professionals
Being mentored by Dr. Epstein
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