Signs That You are on Someone Else’s Dance Floor

With Elizabeth Causton, MSW

Stories in this podcast are based on Elizabeth’s caregiving work as a palliative care counselor, and illustrate some of the signs indicating that you are clearly on someone else’s dance floor.

  • 0:33 Sign #1 – you experience extreme emotions in response to patients or family members, or care decisions.
  • 1:25 Story: Is crying normal or am I on their dance floor? Learn how to understand what the tears are about.
  • 2:40 When we respond strongly to a family member – e.g. “I don’t know why but I do not like Mrs. Jones’ son”
  • 4:20 Sign #2 You find it hard to share the person with colleagues or their family members.
  • 4:52 Story: The Favorite “Mary really likes you.” When we are the favorite, we can be pulled onto the dance floor.
  • 5:43 Taking on the role of favorite can leave the person and family without a safety net.
  • 6:50 What to say when you hear “You’re my favorite caregiver.”
  • 7:30 When you are the favorite you may feel indispensable, but the team feels disempowered and untrusted while family has been shoved out of the way.
  • 10:00 Prevention: When beginning a therapeutic relationship, remember this is a temporary relationship and consider how you will exit.
  • 11:05 Sign #3 You feel it is important to control the process of caregiving.
  • 11:50 Sign #3 You would be trying to control the process if you are advising, reprimanding or putting your expectations on the person in your care.
  • 12:36 Prevention: Remember that this is not about me, and that I do not have to fix. From this perspective, what would a healing response look like?
  • 13:00 Definition of healing response from Racheal Ramen’s book “Kitchen Table Wisdom.” “Healing happens when someone feels they have been seen, heard and validated.”
  • 14:31 End.

All Rights Reserved. Life and Death Matters, 2015