I was recently awarded a fellowship by the Institute of Complementary and Natural Medicine (ICNM). The fellowship was in recognition of my sustained contribution to complementary medicine, teaching, scholarship and practice. After receiving the fellowship I thought hard about the word recognition and its importance within the compendium of complementary medicine and therapeutic practice.
Recognition serves multiple purposes, as it allows one to acknowledge important relationships and work towards enhancement of goals and objectives. For me personally, recognition affords me the opportunity to appreciate the client-therapist relationship. This is a unique interpersonal relationship centred around legal, moral, and professional considerations. In recognising the client’s role, the therapist learns to respect the dynamics of therapy and moves towards an educational model of explanation, therapy choice, expectations and after care.
These components are crucial for professional practice and further allow the client to understand that the treatment is provided within a professional framework. In dissecting the conceptual undertones of recognition as a construct, I realised that the questions I ask the client reflect upon my ability to use my knowledge and select the skills necessary for treatment. I further learned that recognition is more than a word, construct, or concept it is a lived practice wherein therapist and client constantly work together to understand, plan, and deliver treatment. Knowing how to apply a skill is distinctly different to recognising the need for application.
Hands-On Training provides unique workshops wherein these very ideas are discussed, explored and explained through interaction and network forums. In conclusion, it is not being recognised that is important, it is how we recognise what is important that becomes the key to successful practice. I have learned that professional conduct, scholarship, respect and professional development are areas of my practice that often lie beyond recognition, but rest within a bed of recognising interpersonal space and learning how to value it.