The importance of listening to patients

A core principle of the work of speech and language therapists and music therapists is listening to the client. It is fundamental to building the initial relationship, and is key to making any progress. In my own work, I have often had parents  or adult clients tell me that I’m the first person who has listened to them and their concerns. Being listened to should never be underestimated, as this alone can make such a change in how someone is feeling. I experienced this first hand recently as Mum to my 5 year old son, P.

P. was child who had always been healthy until about 18 months ago when he developed a cough which never went away, and alongside this experienced numerous bouts of croup. As we adopt an Integrative Medicine approach to our family’s healthcare, combining both conventional and complementary medicine, we adopted a similar approach to this problem, and threw everything at it. Despite our best efforts, P. continued to suffer ongoing coughs and respiratory problems. We really wanted to get to the root of the problem, and decided to try allergy testing to see if anything would show up.

I had been recommended Dr. Ranbir Kaulsay, at Clontarf Allergy Clinic by a family member, so decided to try him. the experience surpassed my expectations. Of  all the medical experiences we have had in the recent past, this was the first time that I felt truly respected as a parent and intelligent human being. Dr. Kaulsay really listened to what I had to say and had a wonderful manner in dealing with my son. (Also, thumbs up to his assistant Orlagh who was great too).

The results of our testing came back last week, and it turns out that P. has a severe dust allergy…It now all makes sense and has felt like such a relief to know why our previously healthy son had started to head down a road of asthma. We now feel we can turn this around, and will embark on a course of immunotherapy treatment at the clinic in addition to ongoing rigorous cleaning at home in order to  “kill the dustmites dead” (as quoted by P.).

Listening is so important, it is both easy and challenging at the same time. We need to do it more.

Thanks for listening.


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