60 Seconds With... Mark Goulston, M.D.

Author and psychiatrist Mark Goulston, M.D.
Author and psychiatrist Mark Goulston, M.D.

Q: Why did you write “Talking To Crazy: How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life”? 

A: I saw that instead of people talking to and with each other, more often they were reacting and talking at and even over each other. Fear causes good people to become more reactive and irrational.

Q: What's the No. 1 mistake providers make with family members?

A: I see providers becoming more defensive instead of asking family members why they're frustrated, upset and disappointed. When you do ask, and listen, the other person will often calm down and cooperate with you.

Q: Why do relatives need to vent?

A: They often feel helpless, powerless, overwhelmed and out of control. They see the providers as someone to vent at safely after which they often come back to their senses. Providers should not take it personally. 

Q: How can we reframe these discussions?

A: Providers should say, “There are always surprises and bumps in the road in providing the care your loved ones and you want and deserve. When this occurs, what is the best way for me to communicate it to you? And here is the best way for you to communicate problems to me. We are all on the same team.”