The UMC Consultation and Liaison service provides psychiatric and psychologic care to patients admitted to the ICU, medical and surgical units. The care provided in the general hospital ensures patients receive a multidisciplinary treatment plan regardless of their current location or physical condition.
Specialized Trauma Psychology Service
The specialized Trauma Psychology service provides pro-active care to patients admitted to the Trauma Surgery Service by providing PTSD and depression screenings for all trauma patients. Screening results help the Trauma Psychology team provide individualized brief interventions to trauma patients and their families during their hospital stay to help ease the suffering associated with life-altering injuries.
Many trauma patients benefit from learning how to use mindfulness to cope with physical and emotional pain. Mindfulness is the practice of bringing awareness to your thoughts, feelings, and physical senses. Research through Harvard University , the National Institutes of Health, and other leading healthcare agencies have shown that mindfulness can be effective in reducing stress, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improving sleep and pain management.
Starting a mindfulness practice can be as simple as following these steps: This information is adapted from Getting Started with Mindfulness from Mindful magazine:
- Choose a specific time: Set aside a time and space each day to practice mindfulness. It can be the same time everyday or different times, whatever is best for you. Find a quiet place with few distractions and take a comfortable seat in a chair or on a pillow on the floor.
- Observe the here and now: The goal of a mindfulness practice is not to quiet the mind; in fact, our mind is made to wander, so why fight its natural instincts! Instead, set the intention of paying attention to the present, the here and now, without judgment.
- Allow your judgments to come and go: When your mind inevitably begins to wander, some of those thoughts may be judging the current situation (for better or worse). When these thoughts arise, make a mental note of their presence and let them pass, and return back to the here and now. Don’t get bogged down in the power of judgment!
- Be kind to your wandering mind: When we practice mindfulness, it can be helpful to begin by welcoming all of ourselves, including our pesky wandering mind. When your mind begins to drift away from the present moment, don’t judge it or yourself. Practice noticing those thoughts and returning to the here and now. Welcome your mind just as it is.
How mindfulness can help with:
- Physical Pain: One of the most effective mindfulness practices to help ease physical pain is the body scan, which allows us to identify and “dive into” different body sensations. By first focusing on specific body sensations and then widening our awareness to our body as a whole can help us to identify less with our pain.