What Do You Do When You Sense There's Something More Going On? Mental and Social Health Opportunities in Hand Care

Date/Time: Fri, October 2, 2020 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM


In hand surgery and hand therapy the problem is typically straightforward: base of thumb arthritis starting to be a bother; stiff PIP joint after a sprain or dislocation; working to regain motion after tendon laceration or fracture. And we sometimes notice that our optimism can feel dismissive. That our simplification of the issue might seem to trivialize the problem. We can often feel or see our patient’s despair. And if we gain their trust, we get their story. What then? It’s tempting to focus on the technical aspects—our area of expertise. There must be more I can do. This symposium will address the verbal and nonverbal signs of stress, distress and less healthy thoughts. We’ll address simple relationship-based things that hand specialists can do every day to help people get and stay healthy. There will be skills and pearls to test out on Monday morning.


  • Recognize the verbal and non-verbal signs of stress, distress, and less healthy thoughts.

  • Differentiate accurate understanding from unhelpful misconception

  • Develop the communication, guiding, and relationship building skills necessary to help people reorient their thoughts.

  • Design wording and concepts that direct people to optimal social and mental health along with optimal physical health