Words are powerful. The words we choose can harm, and they can heal

Words are powerful.  The words we choose can harm, and they can heal

Interview with Linda Sanet, COVT

For all those who don’t know you yet, what drove you to Optometry?

Originally I was accepted into a program that would lead to a PhD in Philosophy, and that is what I thought I was going to do. Bob had been in a serious auto accident and had a brain injury and double vision because of it.  When I saw how much he was improving from Vision Therapy I decided that I wanted to look into it.  I went to work as a volunteer in an office that offered Vision Therapy.  At first I just did office jobs — making copies, doing errands.  But after a while they asked me if I would like to learn about VT and become a Vision Therapist. I decided to give it a try, and as we say in English, “the rest is history.”

What impact has this discipline had on your daily life?

After the Optometrist does the initial evaluation, I am the one who is actually delivering the Vision Therapy.  Knowing that — if I do my job well — I can make a positive influence on a patient’s life and future is a joy and a privilege.

What would you say is the greatest privilege of a therapist’s experience in the field of vision health?

I have been a Certified Vision Therapist since 1978!  There are too many.

In your presentation are you going to talk about the importance of Skeffington’s Fourth Circle (speech-auditory)?  Can you specify what it consists of?

I am going to approach the concept from a different angle than most people think about it.  I want to talk about (speech) communication – in all of its forms – verbal and non-verbal.  And how to organize conditions so that we listen to our patients and understand what we need to say and how to say it so they feel safe and are fully able to participate in the therapeutic process. Words can harm, and words can heal.  I am hoping to share my thoughts about the “healing” aspect.

Why do you think Skeffington’s Fourth Circle has a special importance within Behavioral Optometry? Why do you believe that understanding this Fourth Circle is one of the keys?

Words are powerful.  The words we choose can harm, and they can heal.  I am hoping to share my thoughts about the “healing” aspect.

Why are speech and hearing important in the development of vision?

They are the sensory tools we use to communicate to the world who we are, what we need. I prefer to use the word “Listening,” which is an active process.  “Hearing” is passive, and does not require establishment of a heart-to-heart relationship with the patient.

What concrete benefits do you think can be achieved with a better understanding of the Fourth Circle?

Better therapeutic outcomes.Happier patients who are happy, feel safe, and are willing to explore, nurture their curiosity, and be who they are meant to be.


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