ITW n°91: Audrey - The talking psychologist.
Today I present to you the sweet and caring Audrey, 31 years old, psychologist, specialized in psycho-oncology, and creator of the blog " The Psy who speaks ", because the professionals also have the floor onMister K fighting Kit , these caregivers are our essential parentheses to arm our fight. Getting psychological support is, in my opinion, one of the essential aspects of putting reality into words, agreeing to get help because together we are always stronger, giving ourselves the keys to strengthen ourselves, emptying our bags, letting go valves, rage, anger, talking without shame about your fears, your doubts in complete confidence with someone outside our inner circle.
When reading Audrey, I bet that you will all want to confide in her as her words resonate with their sincerity, accuracy and delicacy, a precious testimony that breaks the preconceptions that one may have of the taciturn, inaccessible psychologist, which shows how much she realizes the uniqueness of each story and each patient, and above all how much she is committed to helping them, by being 100% in the exchange and listening. Do not hesitate to contact her here!
(personally my psychologist will have been one of the essential actors in helping me rebuild myself, both during and after the K, think about it)
Superb discovery (very useful too)!
Let's get started:
Who are you ?
First name: Audrey Age: 31 years old Profession: psychologist Where do you exercise: Toulouse
What are you specialized in? psycho-oncology
Why did you choose this or these specialties? During my studies I spent almost a year interning in the oncology department, I was able to support patients and their families. This experience changed my vision of the disease and above all I learned that everyone experiences this ordeal in a very different way.
Why do you agree to share your testimony today?
I want to offer another perspective on psychologists, who are often perceived as mute people whose role is not always very clear. It is also this a priori that inspired the name of my blog (the psychologist who speaks).
What are your qualities (in a few words)?
In general, my friends say that I am a calm and attentive person. Optimistic by nature, I am convinced that there is always something to do even in the most difficult situations.
What are your passions (in a few words)?
I am lucky enough to have a “passion job”, so psychology is part of it. I find the workings of the human mind to be truly fascinating. Otherwise, I really like rowing because it relaxes me a lot. For the past year I've also been taking dance lessons (lindy hop) and it's a great booster, especially when you like music from the 20s.
How do you announce “bad” news when you announce a K?
It is the doctor who announces the diagnosis and the bad news, however I can meet the patients in the days or weeks that follow. Patients and families can seek my help whenever they want, at any time.
What phrases do you think should be avoided when dealing with a K fighter? 1. At the time of announcement I wrote an article that uses awkward phrases that patients often hear, like "don't worry, cancer is treatable" 2. during combat I know some people don't like to hear "you're brave" or "you're a fighter"
3. in general I would say all sentences that start with “you should....”, if we can also avoid comparisons like “I know someone who had the same thing as you…etc”
What are your first reflexes when you are faced with a K fighter who has just discovered the ad?
I start by listening to him so he can express what is important to him. As part of a first meeting, I ask the K fighter to tell me about his care journey from the announcement of the diagnosis to today. It is also a time when we together identify our resources to help them cope with the illness.
How do you prepare before the announcement, what is your method to prepare yourself?
I don't prepare before the announcement because it's rare that I meet patients before their oncologist.
What do you advise the patient after such an announcement?
Keep as many benchmarks and activities as possible that do you good. It's important that the K fighter can express what he feels and tell his loved ones what he needs.
What would you advise your loved ones? Do you take the time to talk to them too to support them and give them advice?
I advise loved ones to remain themselves while saying and to listen to their sick loved one, remind them that they are there for them. I also encourage them to take time for themselves; otherwise how can you help others if you don't have the energy for yourself?
How do you feel after the announcement?
When a patient comes to meet me after the announcement, I am always touched by what he tells me. It’s a unique story that he’s entrusted to me.
Do you think you know how to react well?
ultimately I believe that I am more into action than reaction. That is to say, from the first meeting I try to see the patient's personal resources and to make him aware that despite this state of shock, it is possible to continue to move forward.
What would you like to improve in your method?
My method is mainly psychological approaches and psychotherapies. In my job, you can always improve. I think it comes through training and also working on oneself.
Do you manage to gain some distance each time, when you return to your daily life in the evening?
In general yes, when I return home I devote myself mainly to my family. But there are times when situations impact us more.
What do you do to take your mind off things when you are too affected?
I try as much as possible to apply what I tell patients: why wait until you're feeling bad to take care of yourself? Since my working tool is my mind, I regularly take time for myself (outings, sport, creative hobbies, etc.) in order to be in the best possible conditions for the people I support.
What would be your best advice/tricks for patients/loved ones during the fight (in the hospital, at home, etc.)?
Not easy to say because it depends a lot on the people and situations. This is not really a tip but rather a piece of advice to offer. I want to say to all people who are facing illness: “Trust yourself! You are your own best compass.” Try to forget the “you have to”, and above all don’t forget that you are doing the best you can with the means you have. I know that we are often afraid of causing trouble, but don't hesitate to ask for support if needed (from loved ones, associations or caregivers).
What do you recommend to manage anxiety and insomnia? (no medications necessarily, maybe some tips)
To manage anxiety there are many techniques, I will start by mentioning the one that I suggest every day: expressing your feelings to loved ones or to a health professional. It's already a way to free yourself from a weight and reduce stress. The advantage of doing it with a psychologist is that we are faced with a person trained to listen, who will not judge us and with whom we do not have an emotional bond (in general we do not have afraid of hurting your therapist when you talk to them). The same goes for insomnia, and there are also very effective relaxation techniques (notably sophrology) which allow you to relax the mind and relax the body.
What are your tips for facilitating treatment (in a flirtatious setting, examples of beauty, “well-being”, sport) ;)?
I can't really answer the question, however we now know that physical activity (not just sport) is good for your health and allows you to better manage certain side effects of treatments. I also suggest that patients meet the socioesthetician who offers them a real moment of gentleness and very useful advice.
Do you believe in the benefits of “alternative” medicine? (Type: acupuncture / homeo / auriculotherapy..?)
I meet a lot of patients who use complementary medicine. I am not a specialist in the field, however I have many patients who tell me about the benefits of acupuncture and homeopathy.
If so, which do you think are the most suitable to accompany the K fighters? Methods that bring them something positive and that make sense to them.
Do you know any useful links to recommend to K fighters, associations, sites, specialized centers?
The League Against Cancer offers a lot of activities and information. I recently discovered “ life around ” which lists associations based on where you live. Simply enter the name of your city and what you are looking for (support, physical activity, etc.) and the site will show you everything that is near you. I am also thinking of AlloAlex which allows you to answer questions about work.
You have a blog too, can you tell us more about its intention / purpose?
I created a blog called “La Psy Qui Parle” to help people faced with illness to remain active in their lives. I offer advice and articles (soon videos) on “How to tell your child about the illness?” », “Do you need to have morale of steel to cure cancer? » or “The blues after treatment”. The idea is to offer reliable and practical information on an original site that people want to read. All the links to follow you (FB + Twitter + Blog link)?
Free reign, tell us what you want, which would not be found in these questions:
I think we could still communicate more about the benefit of psychological care in order to present it as an integral part of treatment. It is obviously the body which is affected by the illness, but it is also a human being as a whole with his mind. For me it is essential to also take into account the psychological impact of the illness. Taking the step of meeting a psychologist is not always easy because you want to get through it on your own, by yourself. However, psychologists do not take the place of the patient, they are there to support. It is the patient who remains an actor in his life. Finally, meeting a psychologist means embarking on collaborative work: on the one hand there is the patient who relates his experience and his experience, and the psychologist who brings his knowledge to support him.
My goal is also to help the K fighter become aware of his strengths and resources.
Thank you Charlotte for giving me the floor and for everything you do to help the K fighters.
Thank you Audrey, for this important testimony which lifts the veil on an essential part of the support.
You can leave comments for Audrey, below.
If like her, you are a caregiver / professional in supporting K fighters and you wish to testify, we need you too, meet here , send me your questionnaire and 1 photo of you so that I can draw you ;) to: email@example.com
*Many of you send me your testimonies, thank you for your precious trust, for this same reason, the broadcasts of your interviews will sometimes be broadcast in several months, but know that I keep and transmit absolutely ALL the testimonies that are sent to me , Thank you for understanding.
Please note that I do not retouch any Interview, they are completely free, it is your freedom, your story, I just add my personal touch with the illustration, they are delivered as they were sent to me ;)
NEVER GIVE UP!!