Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Blogging: Changing Course

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on January 25, 2010

    Welcome to my new WordPress blog. I hope you like my new  format. I am also going to change the content. Read on to understand my new course.  

      Since November, 2009, I have wandered into this blogosphere, not knowing what to expect. I became a movie critic, a book critic, a psychotherapy observer, a commentator on the state of psychiatry, a blogger on child development and parenting,  and I tentatively entered into the world of personal memories. I am now trying to develop more of a focus.  When I ask myself what I most like writing about, the answer is that I would like to continue to write about my interesting moments in psychotherapy. This answer, however,  leads me to the dilemma that although I want my blog to enrich my life and my readers’ life,   and sometimes that has happened,  it is also true that my blog has created some distress. Writing is a vulnerable process. I have  intense feelings about  being seen. This is a new and interesting experience for me and I welcome that. However, what I have also discovered is that my patients are also feeling more vulnerable. This is an unintended consequence. One that gives me pause.

     None of my psychotherapy blogs give identifying information.  Still, my patients reading my blog have very strong ideas and feelings as to whether I am talking about them or not. Sometimes, I tell my patients that something they said has inspired me to write a blog and I point them where they can read about it. Is this a problem?  Is this bad technique?  I ask myself. Should I seek consultation? Who would I ask? Would I find someone to answer my question in a way that would support me, without challenging my ideas? Who has experience with these issues? I do not know.

     Some of my patients have found my blogs helpful in that they feel like they have gained greater insight into me, and into themselves. This cannot be bad, I say to myself. However, as I feared, these same patients, at other times,  feel agitated by my blogs. They read what I have to say and they feel like I am putting them down, or worse yet, that I do not understand them at all. When they tell me that, I want to stop blogging. I do not want to create an environment which promotes more dis-ease. On the other hand, I think that maybe this is grist for the therapeutic mill. No. I do not like that argument. I feel bad upsetting my patients. I do not want my blog to do that, and to the extent that it contributes to suffering, I should stop blogging about my patients. Is it that simple? If one patient tells me that my blog was upsetting, does that mean that  I cannot blog any more? Yes, maybe that makes sense. Patient care is my first priority. There is no question about that.

     So, I say to myself, I can blog about other things. I can return to being a movie critic, or a book critic. That could be fun, but I do not think that is my passion, at least not now.  I do want to write about psychotherapy, and when it is woven together with psychopharmacology, I want to write about that too.  Perhaps I will start by writing stories. My hope is that these stories will be less controversial, but still illuminating. My critics tell me that I use too much jargon, so I am going to focus on telling my stories in a way which is user-friendly. I am going to try to change from a  teacher to a storyteller. I believe that stories help us grow. They can inspire us to take chances, to involve ourselves in life, and they can challenge our world view. I want to share the meaningful stories that I hear every day. This will be my new path. You, my readers, will help me out. Wish me luck!

2 Responses to “Blogging: Changing Course”

  1. Shelly said

    I support your decision in any direction you want to take your blog. I’ve enjoyed reading it from the beginning and have learned a great deal. Just please, continue to write!

  2. Thanks….blog continues….

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