Dad was failing rapidly and needed a new kidney. The world stopped. Nothing else mattered. We came together...
Enter team #1, a hospital whose philosophy and practice revolved around looking to our family's decision-making process: "Which of the three sons (all anatomical matches) would step up to be the donor?" "How would we manage the period leading up to the transplant?" "How would we handle the recovery period?" All good questions and perfectly rational... that is, if we were not in crisis and were thinking completely clearly.
Enter team #2, a different hospital team which anticipated that we would not be thinking clearly and advised us accordingly: "Based on our experience, here's what's going to happen..." "The following are things you probably have not thought of yet, but that you need to know, no matter how hard to hear." "Based on our assessment, here's who should be the donor and why." Big, big difference.
Why do I bring this up? It dawned on me the other day that this is exactly what prospective clients are weighing when they are in a bind with their struggling child. In crisis, people need conviction and experience since they cannot be expected to rationalize every step on their own.
I've been there. I'd like to think that those in my family are loving, sensitive, rational, intelligent, and problem-solving above all... but, you can throw that all out the window when a crisis takes hold (even when some of those family members are in crisis educational consulting themselves!).
For the families who reach out to us, they are doing so for good reason. Most have been directed by other professionals or former clients who have been there as well and know in hindsight from their own tribulations that they need that level of conviction and experience to make it through.
In case you're wondering, our family is doing well several years later. On most days, we even forget what we went through. Imagine that...