Over the weekend I was reminded of an ancient word, ephphatha, which is usually translated as “to be opened,” as in to be opened to an experience. Another translation, “to be open to connection,” resonated with me because it summarizes my hope for Community Neuropsychology. For myself and everyone who works here, there is a deliberate attempt on our part to be genuinely open to human connection. For me that starts in the quietness of my office while I’m reviewing charts and preparing for my day, thinking about who will come in to see us.
In an earlier blog I wrote about the stigma that is associated with mental illness. I think there is also a societal tendency to fear, ignore, or leave out anybody who is struggling. We see folks who are struggling every day. The struggles we see daily at Community Neuropsychology may look different – seizures, pain, memory loss, attention problems, etc. – but the essence of the struggle is the same. Work problems. Family problems. Financial problems. Food insecurity. Personal loss. After almost ten years of practice I have come to appreciate that I cannot fix all those things for everybody. But I have found that being open to the connection – essentially saying I see you and you and I are more alike than we are different – is powerful and even sometimes healing.
— Jennifer Geiger PhD ABPP-CN