While driving around town between all too infrequent appointments (it was not his most productive day for reasons beyond his own control), he often proposed advice accompanied by the disclaimer, “Now, I am only a mediocre therapist, but…”
Initially, I thought that he was just saying this so as to not sound obnoxious or as if he had all the answers, but (after spending 6 hours together) I truly think he genuinely believed he was nothing more than just that: a mediocre therapist.
Why? Good therapists are defined by their productivity and sometimes he struggles to even see the minimum number of patients that the agency requires. Good therapists are often schooled in many varying manual therapy techniques, but he rarely finds a way to fit them in or apply them to his sessions in the home care environment. In his words, his care “lacks the nuance that other therapists offer”.
What he did not readily tell me, however, is how he speaks at an appropriate level to his patients, always referring to them as Mister or Misses (infusing their names respectfully into his conversation). Additionally, he refuses to see a high volume of patients because he feels his patients deserve more than a therapist who comes in and “just does some exercises.”
He is content to be a mediocre therapist if each patient is treated with respect and given his full time and effort.
He may be “mediocre”, but he gets it.