Everybody knows about the routines and daily habits that help maintain good physical health — eating right, brushing and flossing, regular check-ups, and wellness exams — but when it comes to maintaining emotional health, those routines and habits don’t exist for most people.
Guy A. Winch, PhD, will talk about ways to monitor and improve emotional health during the Jim and Midge Breeden Lecture, “The Science of Healing Thy ’Self,” as part of this morning’s President’s Program. Dr. Winch, who is scheduled to speak at 9:30 am in Hall D, is a licensed psychologist and author of “Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts,” which has been translated into 21 languages. His TED Talk, “Why We All Need to Practice Emotional First Aid,” has been rated in the top five most inspiring talks on TED.com.
“We’re aware that eating certain foods is unhealthy for us, but we’re much less aware what psychological habits are unhealthy for us, and if there was more awareness of that, we would be more able to at least prevent some of those things from impacting our emotional and mental health,” he said.
Dr. Winch will tailor this morning’s talk specifically for physicians. He puts doctors in the same category as first responders, such as law enforcement, because of the high-stress nature of the job. He will highlight some of the signs that stress has gone past the point of being acceptable and manageable.
He will take a close look at how rumination and the tendency to obsess and stew about issues, including stressing about stress itself, can cost doctors professionally and personally. In addition to decreased performance at work, doctors can suffer in terms of being available and present with family and friends when off duty, he said.
During his presentation, Dr. Winch shares the science behind treating everyday psychological wounds such as rumination, guilt, rejection, and failure. If left untreated, they can have a detrimental impact on life.
“The problem is that even when we’re spotting a problem, we’re not quite sure what to do with it beyond seeking professional help,” he said. “And most people, to be honest, don’t really have time to do a lot of that, and it’s not an easy thing for people to do. But that’s not necessary for them to do if they were more aware of what some of these problems might be.”
Dr. Winch will hold a book signing in the ACOG Bookstore after the President’s Program.