When people are facing a severe illness or a major surgery, that may be one of the most significant opportunities for spiritual transformation that they will encounter.
I tell residents, if you gave me two patients with identical problems, and one of them had family at the bedside with a lot of laughter, plus photos and a quilt from home, and next door was another patient who was alone every time I came by – I’m going to be very nervous about the isolated patient’s mental status.
There are plenty of studies that have shown that depression is associated with decreased immunity. So I want to harness all of the positive emotional energy I can in a patient to get better.
People think of science as rolling back the mystery of God. I look at science as slowly creeping toward the mystery of God.
Therapy needs to be integrated. You mustn’t forget about a patient’s emotional wellbeing. It is vital to the outcome of their treatment.
I call horses ‘divine mirrors’ – they reflect back the emotions you put in. If you put in love and respect and kindness and curiosity, the horse will return that.