As a Nurse Coach, one of the most important tasks is to effectively manage your clients expectations. This includes not only the medical aspects, but also the psychological aspects of healing.

But what if we told you that there are psychological tricks you can use to make their journey feel shorter and more manageable?

One tactic you can use is creating a client “roadmap.” 

I lifted this idea from the London subway system. It uses psychological tricks to reduce frustration and stress related to waiting. One tactic they use is called “time-based distraction.” This uses digital screens to provide real-time information about the estimated time of arrival of the next train. By keeping guests informed, engineers reduced feelings of anxiety and uncertainty without actually making the trains run faster.

A study by the Journal of Transport Psychology found that providing real-time information can decrease the perceived wait time by up to 25%.

I like outlining three phases of the healing journey and three steps with each phase for a total of nine landmarks. These landmarks are independent of a client’s actual healing and can be accomplished regardless of any perceived improvement, or lack thereof.

For example, shift your client’s focuses from the entire treatment course to focus on completing one a course of antibiotics or getting through one round of physical therapy. Then make sure to celebrate the completion not the outcome.

Creating “destinations” along the healing journey can help to make the entire healing process feel less daunting and give your clients a sense of accomplishment and progress.

In conclusion, facing a long treatment course for chronic Lyme disease can be overwhelming and stressful. But by understanding and utilizing psychological tricks, such as goal-setting, positive reframing and time-based distraction, you can make the journey feel shorter and more manageable. 

Take control of your patients’ care and be part of the solution. 

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Journal of Transport Psychology: “The impact of real-time information on perceived waiting time

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