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Getting Everyone Involved In The Health Care Discussion

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care is re-launching Let’s Talk Health Care, which started life as former CEO Charlie Baker’s blog. There’s a series of related discussions going on now in the Let’s Talk Health Care Linked In group, sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim.  I’ve been participating (at the request of the group organizer; disclosure: client) and would like to invite you to do the same.

A salient characteristic of the site and of the group is the focus on three broad categories of care and cost: fostering health and wellness, balancing quality and cost, and redefining care coordination — all of which are informed by a focus on chronic health care issues.

One of the great successes of modern medicine is the conquest of most infectious disease.  (Equitable global distribution of the tools necessary for eradication is another story — and some of the more compelling chapters of that story are being told these days by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.) One of the great failures of the modern consumer state is Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at HealthBlawg :: David Harlow's Health Care Law Blog*

What Makes A Conversation “Psychotherapy?”

Years ago I had a student who repeatedly asked me how psychotherapy works. “How is it different than a conversation?”

When I think of psychotherapy, I think in terms of the talking itself as being the aspect that helps — and yes, of course it can be used in conjunction with medications. I think of it as being structured — in terms of time and place and frequency — and being all about the patient. And whether or not it’s actually discussed, some of what works is about the relationship — most people don’t get better talking to someone they despise, and the warmth, empathy, feeling listened to and cared for, well, they’re all important. And I also think of it as being a process over time. These are all parts of my definition, however, and they may not be parts of yours. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Shrink Rap*

Conversation Is Not A Business Strategy

I don’t agree with the first thesis of the Cluetrain Manifesto which asserts: Markets are conversations. There’s a measure of truth to it, but it’s an assertion that can lead marketers down a narrow path that obstructs a larger view of the possibilities of media. If markets were indeed conversations, then we all could get rich just by conversing. No, leading an audience is what gets things done – conversation is simply a bonus feature of a two-way Web.

I need to make my point in the flesh. So here I am, presenting an elucidation of my thesis: Audiences are strategic imperatives [link to video if you can't see the embed is here]: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Phil Baumann*

Teen Dating Does Not Mean They’re Having Sex

Just a friendly reminder to parents that dating does not equal sex. I cannot tell you how many teens have shared with me that the first lecture they got from their parents when they started dating was about sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and unwanted pregnancy. Their reactions were “what?”

When young teens start dating it is because they have found themselves twitterpated (which is apparently not a real word), and attracted to someone. Chances are good it is more of an emotional attraction than a sexual one, and one that will wax and wane, usually end with tears, but not kill them.

It is easy to understand why parents panic and worry about sexuality and the risks associated with that sexuality – we live in an extremely over-sexualized culture that can make us believe that everyone is having sex – which is not true. Please remember that only half of teens start being sexual before they are 18, but most fall in love at least once before leaving high school.

Dating is about learning how to be in a relationship, and you will be doing your children a great service if you talk with them about relationships, not sex. It is a good idea to make the difference really clear for them, and make your expectations very clear, too! If you expect your teen to not become sexual, tell them that, and why. Ask them to tell you what there limits and expectations about relationships and sex are. Here are some topic suggestions:

  • What do they think dating includes?
  • What does sexual pressure look and feel like?
  • How would your child resist sexual pressure?
  • How long do they think people should date before the topic of sex even comes up?
  • How will they know if someone is the “one?”
  • What would have to happen before they did think about sexual behavior?

If the possibility exists that they will be sexual, then, you can have the conversation about sex – but not if they tell you they will not be swayed and are not interested – you have to trust them.

Many teens are afraid of dating or choose not to date because a partner may expect sex, so they find a friend or pseudo partner to attend events with and protect them from having to resist sexual pressure – which is a great strategy, but keeps them from trying on relationships.

Oh the conversations that we might have … keep talking and make sure they know you are open to talking – even about things that make you squirm.

This post, Teen Dating Does Not Mean They’re Having Sex, was originally published on Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

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Latest Book Reviews

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

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