• Fresh Views

    Transform Primary Care Encounters: Here’s Why

    Problem talk creates problems. Solution talk creates solutions. – Steve de Shazer, pioneer of solution-focused brief therapy

    Managing diabetes is complex.  We know that. Constant focus on “problems” can erode confidence. So, clients may turn to us, their healthcare team, looking for guidance to do something different. 

    As we continue our new series on transforming primary care encounters by using a solution-focused approach, today let’s talk about WHY use this approach. We’ve had several primary care providers encourage us to share more on this approach as they found it to be a transformational way of thinking and engaging with clients. So let’s delve a little deeper today…this is one way of thinking that may help.

    Before we begin, one significant difference in a solution-focused approach is use of the term “client” instead of “patient.”  In a solution-focused approach the clinician and person with diabetes are considered “think partners” working together to manage diabetes. Thus, the term client is more inclusive and more indicative of the approach, and is what we use. (That said, we realize that the term “patient” is widely used in many healthcare settings and we respect that.)

    Why use a solution-focused approach in primary care? 

    Since the majority of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is managed in primary care, it seems that the best place to start to change the way we engage with clients is through primary care. Without a doubt there are many competing demands during a primary care visit. And visits can often focus on “fixing” “problems” as the limited appointment time flies by.

    The Taxonomy of Burden of Treatment, published in 2015, identifies three areas where people with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, have “work to do”. So, if a person does “everything” the guidelines ask them to do, that would take about  2.5 hours/day… that’s like a part-time job – a job they didn’t ask for! And those 2.5 hours don’t take into account the nuances of the impact on their life, and factors that make living with chronic conditions challenging, like work, travel, lack of income etc.The constant focus on problems can make living with T2D even harder.

    Considering the complexity of chronic care can help build compassion and recognize the reality of day to day life – what we’re asking people to do  – and how it is impacting everything else. The way a person is treated and the way they feel about living with diabetes impacts outcomes. When doing all this work to manage their diabetes and then see their care team focus on what’s wrong or what’s not happened, instead of what is working well, negates all their hard work. This is where language and communication are key. 

    In the image at the top of this blog you can see a quick summary of how the interaction can be “flipped”. Incorporating a solution-focused approach can enhance your client relationships and build trust and open communication needed for successful diabetes management.

    Join us as our series continues on  incorporating a solution-focused approach when managing T2D in the primary care setting. We’ll share how you can incorporate the tenets into a brief visit and how you can build your solution-focused tool-kit over time. Our goal is to start slow and share small, achievable, bite-size practice changes you can implement over time. Our next post will focus on benefits of this approach for the primary care team, both clinician and person with diabetes.

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown DIabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    Transform Primary Care Encounters: Do Things Differently in 2022

    Doing things differently leads to something exceptional. – unknown

    Watching the sun set at Wise Villa Winery, Lincoln, California and thinking of new opportunities for 2022

    With the start of the new year, one of our goals is to share the basic tenets of a solution-focused approach and how to incorporate these techniques into a brief primary care visit. We’ve had several primary care providers encourage us to share more on this…so here we go launching a series to slowly guide the evolution of practice! Follow our blog so you don’t miss out on practical guidance and tips to transform primary care encounters. (And if you work in a setting other than primary care, you’ll still want to follow because many of the tips can be applied to other practice settings.)

    Why do we embrace a solution-focused approach?

    Consider this…the traditional medical model of care is “problem-focused” – meaning you need to identify the “cause” to “fix the problem”. However, when faced with a life-long chronic condition (such as diabetes) that requires changes in health behaviors, “fixing a problem” is not so simple. One can quickly feel a sense of failure, feeling at fault where they’ve made “ bad decisions”, or some other negative feeling. 

    In our experience, it is common for those living with type 2 diabetes (T2D) to not want to reveal their health condition because of negativity towards T2D in the press, in the community, as well as from the medical field. Blame and shame are rampant. It is hard to be positive and move forward when viewing your whole life through this negative lens. This is where incorporating a solution-focused approach can be a game changer for both the clinician and the person living with diabetes. The whole conversation is “flipped” from a negative to a positive, helping to identify strengths and solutions instead of rehashing all of life’s issues that are not going well.

    What is a solution-focused approach to care and education?

    A solution-focused approach has its beginnings in counseling psychology, but has made inroads in a number of fields, and we are focusing on application to life with diabetes.  

    Here are 7 key tenets of this approach:

    1. Ask questions.  In a solution-focused approach asking eliciting questions is the key to uncovering solutions and guiding the individual. These questions help the individual realize that solutions are possible and help them see their desired future state.
    2. The client is the expert. Key to this approach is first recognizing the individual is a person that lives with their chronic condition on their own and manages their daily life, so they are not a “patient” in this model. They know what they need and understand their condition and how it impacts their greater life. We recognize they are the center of the team and we value their input. Read more about experts here.
    3. If something works, do more of it. The premise here is that if you do “more” of what is going well, then in general you will have less time and opportunity to engage in what is not working well. Helping the individual recognize their strengths and successes builds confidence needed to manage a complex condition. It can be as simple as opening the visit with the question, “What do you feel like has been going well with your diabetes?”
    4. Focus on exceptions.  Exceptions are times when the problem “might” have occurred but didn’t. This could be something small and often overlooked, but when you can highlight these opportunities you can then focus on solutions that are in front of you. You can read blogs we’ve written about exceptions here.
    5. Small changes move you forward.  The goal is to help the client take small steps to move their goals forward and each small step can lead to more success.
    6. Clients already possess the resources they need for change.  Most people are aware of what works for them and have the ability to identify solutions. We can help people to recognize these resources and help them to develop resiliency to manage their condition.
    7. Language matters. We know and evidence shows that the language we use in healthcare is associated with health outcomes. When people are blamed and shamed for their health condition they are less likely to see their healthcare team and less likely to talk with their care team when they are not meeting health goals. The use of person-first, strength-based language in a solution-focused approach is critical to develop a therapeutic relationship with clients.

    We hope you will see that this approach can help both clinicians and people with diabetes to collaborate in managing diabetes.

    Join us for our series on incorporating a solution-focused approach when managing T2D in the primary care setting. We’ll share how you can incorporate these tenets into a brief visit and how you can build your solution-focused tool-kit over time. Our goal is to start slow and share small, achievable, bite-size practice changes you can implement over time. 

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown DIabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    8 Tips to Take Into 2022 With You

    Taking a memory into 2022 of a beautiful sunset on Hilton Head Island, SC

    What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year. – Vern McClellan

    WHO ARE WE? 

    In this new year, if you are new to our blog, we are solution-focused diabetes care and education specialists. We are passionate about doing diabetes care and education differently. Too much of life is spent focusing on problems. Instead, we believe in turning attention to possibilities, opportunities, and a fresh vision for the future. We see the benefit in stepping alongside our clients as “think partners” to focus on what’s important to them, what’s already going well, and build upon that to reach their goals so that they may live life to the fullest. We invite you to join us in doing the same if this is a new paradigm for you. We are advocates for person-centered, strengths-based language, and believe that self-compassion is essential when living with a chronic condition. 

    OUR MISSION

    As we welcome the new year, our Mission continues to be that We guide healthcare professionals in taking a solution-focused approach to practice to enable clients with diabetes to embrace possibilities, opportunities, and a fresh vision for the future.

    Our interest and passion around taking a solution-focused approach to practice (and life), means acknowledging what has gone well, acknowledging how that success was achieved, then identifying how to do more of that and build upon that moving forward.

    8 TIPS TO TAKE INTO 2022 WITH YOU:

    With the start of the new year we’ve been doing alot of reflection. We’ve pondered what has gone well for us, how we were able to achieve that, and how we can build on that. Today we’re sharing  8 tips that we’re taking into 2022 with us and we challenge you to do the same as well as share with your clients:

    1. Make yourself a priority once in a while. It’s not selfish. It’s necessary. Skimping on personal needs can be harmful to our overall well-being. When we don’t put ourselves first and take care of ourselves, certain mental and physical risks can develop and lead down an unhealthy path.
    1. Smile often and laugh more. Finding humor and laughter in the everyday world is a key opportunity to reduce stress. It can also decrease anxiety, fear, and help people cope with challenging situations. Personally, we often feel rejuvenated and ready to face the world again after a good belly laugh or a few silly moments. Suddenly the weight of the world is lifted off our shoulders. Learn more in our blog here.    
    1. Learn something new. Many studies show that learning new skills is a way to improve your life. Learning something new can even tie in with #1 above. It may be an “excuse” you need for some “me time”. An appointment with yourself – so to speak – and a break from work or family. Our big “learning something new” in the new year is learning how to host a podcast! Stay tuned, more to come on that!
    1. Take a daily gratitude walk. As you walk, reflect on and express gratitude for what you are thankful for in the day. It can help you feel less stressed and focus on the good. Find other tips to get started with daily gratitude practice in oru blog here.
    1. Talk positive to yourself, instead of listening to yourself. Rather than listening to your mind’s fears, doubts, and complaints, speak to yourself with words of affirmation and encouragement. Learn more about the power of self-acceptance and helping cultivate it in others in our blog here, and positive affirmations here.
    1. Focus on “get to” rather than “have to” each day.  It’s not about what we have to do. It’s about what we get to do. It’s easy to act as if we don’t have a choice, but in reality we DO have a choice on a great many things in life. We can choose our attitude, our actions, and how we view life. 
    1. Remember your “WHY”. Remember WHY you do what you do. When we forget the WHY, it’s easy to get burnt out.
    1. Look for ways to serve and care. Referring back to #2, smiling is an easy way to show you care and takes nothing but a little effort.  Maybe it’s helping someone achieve their goals or shovel their walk (this is top of mind for Tami as we write with 6-inches of snow outside her window). Think about it, if we do one act of kindness each day of the year, that can change 365 lives! 

    We were hoping to add “Travel whenever possible” to this list since we both were avid travelers before the pandemic. But not this year with yet another Covid-19 surge. So we’ll save that one for next year (fingers crossed)! 

    WHAT’S TO COME? 

    Throughout 2021 we launched a series of posts related to applying a solution-focused approach to diabetes technology. What will we write about in 2022? To start off, we will be sharing practical tips to transform primary care visits by incorporating solution-focused tactics to support diabetes management.

    We hope that  2022 will be kinder to all of us and that together we can learn how to help people with diabetes live their best life!

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown DIabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    Diabetes Technology and Solution-Focused Practice: 3 Gratitude Apps to Use

    Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices.- Robert Braathe

    Tami was expressing gratitude for this stunning sunset on a recent weekend escape to Isle of Palms, SC.

    Expressing Gratitude is a topic we have written about several times as a tool that can be used in solution-focused encounters with clients. And it is a practice that we both embrace regularly. Expressing gratitude has been shown to help people improve their health, deal with challenges, and feel more positive. Really any time is a great time to develop and express gratitude –  from the big things in life to the tiniest things (like the sunbeams coming in the window as we write this).

    Following on this “season of thanksgiving” and closing out our year-long series on “Diabetes Technology and Solution-Focused Practice”, today we’re sharing 3 Gratitude Apps that you may wish to recommend to your clients (or use yourself).  

    Gratitude: Journal App

    Rating 4.9
    Price: Free & paid versions
    System: iOS, macOS
    Features/Content: Daily journal, affirmations, reminders, prompts, vision board

    We love that this app incorporates both the practice of gratitude and using positive affirmations (which we wrote more about in a previous blog here.) The user can journal in the app what they’re grateful for and add images. Plus, the app sends prompts as a reminder to record what you’re grateful for – for instance, “What made you smile today?” The user can also write their own positive affirmations to practice positive self-talk. Some of Tami’s favorites are, “I am kind. I will not worry. I am created for a purpose.” And from there, the user can create a vision board to focus on their goals and live life with intention. Deb also likes the fact that this app allows you to easily share with friends. To reinforce gratitude practice, Deb started sending text messages to friends to express appreciation. You can also easily post to social media channels.

    365 Gratitude Journal

    • Rating 4.7
    • Price: Free & paid versions
    • System: iOS, macOS
    • Features/Content: Journal, virtual gratitude jar,  prompts, sharing gratitude with others

    This is a science-based gratitude journal that guides the user to see the world in a more positive light. The app sends daily gratitude prompts that are thought-provoking and shares stories that cultivate self-love, positivity, and joy (another aspect that we fully appreciate. See our blog about finding joy here.) One gratitude strategy we’ve recommended in our previous gratitude blogs is having a gratitude box (or jar) and this app incorporates a virtual gratitude jar for the user to fill with things they’re grateful for. The app even lets the user write and send a little gratitude card to someone.

    Grateful: A Gratitude Journal

    • Rating 4.6
    • Price: Free & paid versions
    • System: iOS
    • Features/Content: Journal,  prompts, reminders, easily review past entries & customize timeline

    This app is simple and is designed to make reflection and giving thanks easy. The app will send a daily prompt/question to answer to start you off.  It’s at the ready to capture a grateful moment on the go. For reflection, the app allows the user to easily navigate past entries by timeline (such as to check frame of mind last December) or by prompt (such as to see the things that made you smile this year). This app is helpful in changing the mindset to look at the good, rather than focusing on the negative in the day.

    We hope that you find these gratitude apps helpful to you and your clients!

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown DIabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    Diabetes Technology and Solution-Focused Practice: Noom App

    Noom messaging to support healthy thinking!

    We at A Fresh POV for You hope you enjoyed summer and are now heading into fall with excitement and initiative!  As we continue our series on diabetes technology, today we’re sharing Deb’s experience with the Noom app. Both of us have used many different apps for healthy living, some of which we’ve written about in past blog posts. 

    Deb started using Noom recently because of all of the great things she was reading and hearing about the psychology behind behavior change.  While our goal as diabetes care and education specialists is to incorporate behavioral techniques into practice, including solution-focused practice, it’s often challenging to have enough time to teach the skills needed to embrace the behavior change. That’s where Noom comes in. 

    What’s interesting about Noom is that you answer many survey questions including history, habits and desires, then Noom crafts an ideal plan for weight loss or making healthy choices before you have to decide to commit to the cost. Noom incorporates several behavior techniques including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The overarching premise of Noom is to help people set small, achievable goals, so that as those are reached one will stay motivated, thus building  self-efficacy, which helps boost motivation.

    Noom has several statistics they share regarding their success rate. We only have the reports and can’t share personal experience as we are new to this app and technique. Some insurance plans will cover the Noom program and Noom will facilitate the process.

    What’s different about the Noom app is the psychology lessons each day – you choose how many minutes you want to engage, Deb’s been doing 10 minutes a day. The app encourages taking notes, writing down calls to action, setting goals and documenting them. Overall the theme of Noom is “I believe I can change my behavior”.  And it’s encouraged that the user reminds himself as time goes on.

    Noom also creates a social connection. There are Noom community groups as well as a Noom coach if one chooses to engage. The language used in the app is very encouraging, person first, and a questioning approach is used.

    So what does this have to do with a solution-focused approach? The psychology behind Noom assumes that the user has the power they need, but they need support and coaching to help develop positive thinking. That is a key component of a solution-focused approach – to start with the strengths of the individual and then build upon them. And as stated, they use a questioning approach, encouraging the individual to think about what might work for them as opposed to setting a strict plan.

    If you’ve been reading our blog you know we’ve written about the WW app (the old Weight Watchers) and some of the positive messaging we’ve seen from that app. We would say that Noom goes one step farther in teaching the mini-lessons focused on psychology.

    As with any healthy living app, the best app is often the one that resonates with you or your clients. If your clients are looking for something new, this might be an option, depending on costs.

     Please note that this blog is our personal experience and we receive no financial incentives from Noom.

    We plan to continue to write about a variety of other technologies that impact and influence diabetes care and education including diabetes apps, digital health tools, diabetes devices, online peer support and online coaching. Stop back by in 2 weeks to see what’s up next

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown DIabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting Preview

    We hope your summer has been going well! We’ve been busy with work and spending time with family.  Here @AFreshPOVforYo we are getting excited for the upcoming ADCES21 Virtual conference. For those of you that are attending, we have highlighted 13 presentations that are interesting to us and align with our thinking around behavior change, person-centered care, use of language, and of course use of technology.  While there are many, many more sessions we plan to join, we are showcasing just a few!

    We hope you’ll attend our session on Saturday 8/14/21 at 3:15 pm CT, S30 – Adopt A Fresh Point of View: A Solution-Focused Approach to the ADCES7 Self-Care Behaviors™.  We presented two years ago at #AADE19 and shared an overview of what a solution-focused approach is all about. This year we’ll go a little farther and address the ADCES7 self-care behaviors. We’ll be sharing more info about our program in two weeks, so stay tuned for that!

    While we wish we were connecting with our colleagues in person this August, we appreciate the great program put together virtually. We’re crossing our fingers that we’ll be grabbing a coffee or a glass of wine at ADCES22 in Baltimore next year!

    Enjoy the meeting if you’re attending! We’ll share some of our thoughts about the meeting in a future post. We’ll also be Tweeting during the conference to share some pertinent information!

    T02 – Help People With Diabetes Shift Their Mindset and Change Their Approach to Self-Care Behaviors

    Mark Heyman, PhD, CDCES

    Thursday 8/12/21 10:35-11:05 am 

    In this session, presenters will show a framework for how diabetes care and education specialists can empower people with diabetes to take a new relationship approach to change their entire emotional experience with diabetes to improve self-care behaviors.

    Learning Objectives:

    At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

    • Describe a framework for empowering people with diabetes to change their emotional experience with diabetes
    • Describe how different types of relationships with diabetes impacts psychosocial and emotional functioning
    • Utilize practical tools to help people change their relationship with diabetes

    T10 – Achieve Better Outcomes by Using Individually Customized Messages

    Marlisa Brown, MS, RDN, CDCES, CDN

    Thursday, August 12, 2021

     12:45 PM – 1:15 PM

    This session will discuss how to achieve better results by combining smart goals, virtual programs, motivational interviewing, coaching, stages of change and behavioral strategies with customized messages designed individually to improve outcomes.

    Learning Objectives:

    At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

    • Combine behavior change techniques with customized messaging designed to improve individual outcomes
    • Embrace fears and help an individual to overcome barriers
    • Identify a starting point and build an action plan

    T17 – Collaborative Psychosocial Care for Youth With Diabetes

    Korey Hood, PhD

     Thursday, August 12, 2021

    1:20 PM – 1:50 PM

    Psychosocial care for youth with diabetes presents challenges for the care team. This presentation will cover engagement and treatment strategies that optimize diabetes care in youth and collaborative care provided by diabetes care and education specialists and mental health professionals.

    Learning Objectives:

    At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

    • Identify psychosocial care opportunities in youth with diabetes
    • Select validated surveys and screening formats for identifying psychosocial issues in youth with diabetes
    • Adopt concrete strategies to help youth with diabetes

    T18 – Language in Diabetes Care From a Personal and Professional Perspective

    Lauren Plunkett, RDN, LD, CDCES

     Thursday, August 12, 2021

    1:20 PM – 1:50 PM

     Living with a disease that focuses on numerical values and patterns can be physically and mentally exhausting. Presenters will examine statements that trigger sensitive emotions and how to replace them with optimistic, inspirational coaching.

    Learning Objectives:

    At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

    • Collaborate with individuals to understand how they approach management of their diabetes
    • Articulate optimistic coaching methods to encourage individuals to live in partnership with diabetes
    • Reframe the standard clinical approach to a perspective that focuses on the individual experience

    T27 – Diabetes Stigma: Causes and Consequences for the Concerned Clinician

    Lauren B. Beach, JD, PhD

     Thursday, August 12, 2021

    3:25 PM – 3:55 PM

     In this session, participants will learn how diabetes stigma at individual, interpersonal and structural levels intersect and can compound other forms of social marginalization, contributing to health disparities and poorer outcomes.

    Learning Objectives:

    At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

    • Define diabetes stigma and name at least four dimensions of stigma
    • Name pathways by which diabetes stigma is associated with medication taking among people with diabetes
    • Promote diabetes pride in your practice and across the interdisciplinary diabetes care team

    F04 – Too Good? The Potential Dangers of Perfectionism in Diabetes

    Kersti Spjut, PhD

    Alexis Skelley, LISW-CP, LCSW, CDCES

     Friday August 13, 2021

    10:05 AM – 10:35 AM

     This session will provide ways to recognize signs of unhealthy perfectionism in diabetes management, its medical and emotional risks, and tangible steps for helping individuals become more flexible, mindful and compassionate approach.

    Learning Objectives:

    At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

    • Explain how perfectionism exhibits in diabetes management
    • List possible consequences of perfectionism in people with diabetes
    • Utilize strategies for preventing perfectionism pitfalls among people with diabetes

    F17 – Practical Approaches for Addressing Behavioral Health Needs

    Nicole Bereolos, PhD, MPH, MSCP, CDCES, FADCES

    Friday, August 13, 2021

    12:40 PM – 1:10 PM

    Performing an assessment of behavioral health needs in individuals with diabetes can be limited by lack of training, resources and time. This session will provide practical tools, resources and real-world examples to augment learning in this area for diabetes care and education specialists.

    Learning Objectives:

    At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

    • Identify the importance of addressing the behavioral health needs of PWD
    • Demonstrate real-world applications of addressing behavioral health needs
    • Utilize tools and resources appropriately to help address behavioral health needs in practice

     

    D07 – Diabetes Care and Education Specialists and Behavioral Coaching For Mental Health: Creating Successful Partnerships

    Korey Hood, PhD,

    Brooke Benton, CDCES, MS, RD, LDN

    Sunday, August 15, 2021

     10:05 AM – 10:35 AM

    Mental health issues can prove challenging to address for diabetes care and education specialists. This session will discuss how a behavioral coach can work alongside them to screen for mental health issues, recognize when individuals are struggling and connect them to available support resources.

    Learning Objectives:

    At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

    • Highlight models that promote partnership between the diabetes care and education specialist and the mental health specialist
    • Discuss the relationship between diabetes and mental health
    • Incorporate screening tools and identify referring sources to collaborate with for providing mental health care

    D19 – Diabetes Distress: An Overview of Prevalence, Assessment and Treatment

    Lawrence Fisher, PhD, ABPP

    Sunday, August 15, 2021

     11:15 AM – 11:45 AM

    This presentation will review the definition, clinical presentation, prevalence, assessment and treatment of diabetes distress due to its high prevalence and consistent links with self-management, making it an important target of clinical care.

    Learning Objectives:

    At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

    • Perform a clinical assessment for diabetes distress
    • Utilize recommended tools for clinical assessment of diabetes distress
    • Discuss the treatment of diabetes distress

     D25 – Optimize Support During Crises With Supplemental Peer Support

    Anna Norton, MS

    Sunday, August 15, 2021

     11:50 AM – 12:20 PM

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, peer support communities can serve as a supplemental resource for people with diabetes to maintain their mental health well-being. This session will provide strategies for diabetes care and education specialists to connect people with diabetes to these communities.

    Learning Objectives:

    At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

    • Recognize the need for psychosocial support for people with diabetes during a crisis
    • Provide suggestions and strategies for connecting people in their practice to peer support communities
    • Identify reputable resources for diabetes management outside of the healthcare environment

    Here are a few technology sessions you may be interested in as well.  

    T24 – Facebook Collaborative To Improve Diabetes Management

    Lorena Drago, MS, RDN, CDN, CDCES

    Miguel Johns, BS

    Thursday, August 12, 2021

     2:50 PM – 3:20 PM

    Sharing diabetes challenges and engaging with peers through Facebook groups helps people with diabetes make connections and learn/reinforce actionable self-care behaviors. This session will discuss how to use social media to teach, reinforce and support people with diabetes.

    Learning Objectives:

    At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

    • Discuss how sharing diabetes challenges fosters connections and improves self-care habits
    • Increase diabetes education support outside of the provider’s office using social media marketing strategies
    • Create engaging social media content to obtain measurable results

    ET07 – Powered by Dexcom: Continuous Glucose Monitoring Empowers Self-Management and Expands the Horizons for Connected Care

    Moderator: Deborah Greenwood, PhD, RN, BC-ADM, CDCES, FADCES
    Clinical Education, Dexcom

    Panelists:
    Malinda Peeples, RN, MS, CDCES, WellDoc

    Denise MacKenzie, RPh, PharmD, CDCES, OnDuo

    Aimée José, RN, CDCES, Steady Health

    LaurieAnn Scher, MS, RD, CDCES, Fitscript

    Lindsay Vettleson, RDN, CDCES, ACE-CPT, ACE-CHC, One Drop

    Friday, August 13, 2021

     10:45 AM – 11:30 AM
    Join the discussion with DCES digital health experts that are leading the development and implementation of digital platforms to support people with type 2 diabetes to engage in personalized, data-driven, self-management and support coaches and HCPs to inform therapeutic decisions.

    S04 – Technology Interventions in High-Risk Populations: The Identify, Configure, and Collaborate (ICC) Framework in Action!

    Donna M. Rice, MBA, BSN, RN, CDCES, FADCES

    Deborah A. Greenwood, PhD, RN, BC-ADM, CDCES, FADCES

    Saturday, August 14, 2021

     10:05 AM – 10:35 AM

     This presentation will describe the ADCES technology framework Identify, Configure and Collaborate (ICC) using a program that delivers care with technology-enabled devices in high-risk communities.

    Learning Objectives:

    At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

    • Describe the Identify, Configure, and Collaborate (ICC) framework and its application to high risk populations
    • Discuss the role of the diabetes care and education specialist in evaluating technology interventions within their practice
    • Discuss a technology assessment tool that can be utilized to assess specific technology needs

    We’ll see you in two weeks with a more detailed description of our Saturday educational session!

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown DIabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    KEEP FRIENDS CLOSE: Today’s words to jump-start solution-focused practice

    “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” – C.S. Lewis

    With friends in the Mediterranean this time last year (before the days of social distancing)

    As our world begins reopening from the pandemic, we are longing for the day when we can be in close proximity to friends and family again! Some of the most treasured moments for us personally are sharing life adventures, laughter, and good food and drink with friends (can you see that in our smiles in the picture above from our Mediterranean escape a year ago??) Yet in these days of physical distancing, we are reminded how critical it is to keep friends close, and stay connected while being physically away.   

    Today’s words are: KEEP FRIENDS CLOSE

    So with that, today in our series on words to jump-start a solution-focused approach when managing diabetes, we’re again using a few words (rather than just one) to generate thinking about how to focus on being healthy, living healthy, and making healthy choices, as a follow-on to our last blog “YOU CAN BE HEALTHY”.

    We chose today’s words – Keep Friends Close – because they were used frequently during Diabetes Social Media Advocacy (#DSMA) Twitter chats we hosted in 2018, and seem appropriate in these days of physical distancing. It became crystal clear during those Twitter chats that among people with diabetes, friendships are incredibly impactful and important – especially friendships with peers who also live with diabetes.

    Beyond the concept of friendship alone, we want to stress 3 things (maybe it’s 4 things):

    • Truly valuing friendship
    • Understanding how friendships can support one in living their best life
    • How even in crazy times like we are now living, it is possible to maintain friendships, and might we even suggest, strengthen them

    Video chats, calls, and linking up through social media can provide breaks from upsetting news coverage and help reduce feelings of isolation, loneliness, fear, disappointment (missed graduations, delayed weddings, and the list goes on), help cope with stress, and manage diabetes distress. Those who regularly engage in social media and online discussions, like the previously mentioned Twitter chats have some advantage during these pandemic days because they’ve already experienced the benefits of online friendship and support. 

    Deb’s friends and family participating in a Zoom graduation party.

    What does this mean for diabetes care and education specialists (DCES)?

    Here are 6 solution-focused questions you can use in your conversations to focus on VIPs (friends) and identify opportunities to receive support and strength:

    1. Who do you most enjoy spending your time with?
    2. What traits would your VIP say you have that will help you reach your goals?
    3. What do important people in your life consider to be your best qualities?
    4. How can you use those qualities now?
    5. Suppose your friend with diabetes had the same issue you are facing, what solution would he/she find?
    6. What would the important people in your life say that is different about you when you achieve your goal?

    In these days, here are 5 ways you can encourage your clients to Keep Friends (VIPs) Close virtually: 

    1. Talk about concerns, how they’re feeling, and share emotional support.
    2. Swap strategies for coping with changes in sleep or eating patterns.
    3. Do virtual stretching, workouts, or meditations to help care for you mind, body and spirit.
    4. Share ideas on how they’re eating healthy. Since May is National Mediterranean Diet Month, maybe find a Mediterranean-style recipe they and a friend can cook together virtually via Zoom. Or try this favorite of ours from a previous blog here.
    5. Provide an outlet to unwind and laugh.

    THIS WEEK’S SOLUTION-FOCUSED CHALLENGE

    Each week we’re including a solution-focused challenge that can help evolve care and education in a solution-focused manner. Here’s this week’s challenge: When working with clients these next few weeks, try asking at least 3 questions to understand their VIPs and how they are working to Keep Friends Close during this pandemic. Here are some examples:

    1. Who are the most important people in your life?
    2. How have they been helpful for you?
    3. How are you focusing on staying connected with them while we have been staying at home?
    Friends and colleagues from around the world with a connection to diabetes (looking forward to the days we can huddle in for a picture like this again!).

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou

  • Fresh Views

    STRENGTHS: Today’s word to jump-start solution-focused practice

    The strength in the Dolomite Mountains towering over a lovely placid lake in Northern Italy from Deb’s travels in 2018.

    We find ourselves in the middle of National Words Matter week. Did you know there was such a week? Words are the basis for communication, no matter what language is spoken. Because words matter, we’ve written about the #LangaugeMatters movement many times, you can read more here and here. Here at AFreshPOVforYou, we embrace the importance, power, and impact of words, not just this week, but all year long!

    Our series focusing on words to inspire solution-focused thinking and practice continues this week. You can read more about our take on the power of word selection here. Last week’s word was “Acceptance” – check out our perspective here.

    Today’s word is “Strengths”

    According to the Miriam Webster Dictionary, “strength” is: the quality or state of being strong : capacity for exertion or endurance: a strong attribute or inherent asset. In solution-focused talk, “strengths” are tasks or actions an individual can do well. For instance, seeking support. In a 2018 #DSMA Twitter Chat we asked participants about their strengths. One individual with diabetes replied:

    “I am strong when it comes to seeking support. When I am down, I am self-aware enough to address my hardship. I’m not afraid to be vulnerable.”

    Another replied:

    “My strength is that I refuse to give up. I am tenacious and do not take no for an answer.”

    An individual typically can recognize and clearly identify things they are able to do or achieve and feel happy. We can then encourage focus on those strengths, doing more of what is working, and leveraging those strengths, skills and qualities to create new opportunities. In the same Twitter Chat mentioned above, another participant shared:

    “I concentrate on the lifestyle. The day to day life of a person with diabetes. I work for overall health through exercise, and diet for BGL [blood glucose] results. The support I receive takes care of the rest. So, cure or not, let’s make it as good as we can and support the other.”

    We’ve learned that sometimes self-identified strengths are not areas we might immediately think of in the healthcare world, as evidenced by this individual’s reply:

    “My strengths are passion, humor, and striving to connect with the human being that is each of us. And reminding myself I’m a work in progress.”

    Diabetes care and education specialists can learn a lot from simply asking people what strengths they have to help them live well with diabetes. Those words speak volumes, as evidenced in this individual’s reply:

    “I have the strength to keep on going even [when] I have a few bad readings here and there.  I keep living and doing what I do.”

    The Association for Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (ADCES, formerly AADE) embraces using strengths-based language in diabetes care and education, and has a page of resources here that you may find helpful. 

    A solution-focused challenge

    So our challenge to you this week is to focus on using strengths-based language in your communications to help uncover strengths your clients have. And encourage them to build upon those strengths to do more of what is working for them.

    Here are 5 solution-focused questions you can incorporate to focus on strengths:

    1. What strengths do you have and use to help you manage your diabetes every day? 
    2. What other strengths can you identify? (Note: whenever possible we ask “what else” to expand the thought process)
    3. What would success look like for you (e.g. in life, in living with diabetes etc.)?
    4. How can you use your strengths to create opportunities for success?
    5. What else would you like to share with me today?

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou

  • Fresh Views

    ACCEPTANCE: Today’s word to jump-start solution-focused practice

    Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California

    “Acceptance means to be in the embrace of what is without resistance. True acceptance is one of the most powerful and life-changing practices you can choose for your life journey.” ~Kirra Sherman 

    In our last blog we asked… 

    How can we draw attention to words that are powerful, impactful and transformative. More importantly, how can we build a new vocabulary in healthcare so these words easily flow into conversations between diabetes care and education specialists and their clients?

    Join us today as we launch into a series of posts that will focus on words to inspire solution-focused thinking and practice…words which we embrace in practice and believe you will find them impactful in your conversations too. Each post will introduce a new word to weave into your conversations when talking about diabetes or life in general. (Think of this as similar to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary “Word of the Day”.)

    Today’s word is Acceptance

    We’re referring here to self-acceptance, as well as acceptance by the healthcare team in recognizing that people respond to change differently. We chose this as the first word because we believe it is foundational to solution-focused thinking. It underlies everything else. 

    Accepting oneself can be hard! 

    Being realistic about personal strengths and challenges is often easier said than done. For instance, we both love the outdoors and hiking, especially to take in a beautiful fresh view. However, with the ticking by of the years and impact of a couple injuries, we find we can’t quite embrace all of the things we used to do……like hiking up to mountain tops! Yes, that’s a bit of a bummer. We will never climb Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, pictured above! Yet, we’ve come to eventually accept that, and focus now on what we can do and find joy and happiness in that. So, we take flat hikes instead of climbing, we take a cable car ride to the top of the mountain, and we simply enjoy the beauty of it. 

    Here we are enjoying a beautiful view at Urquhart Castle, Inverness, Scotland.

    Striving to be honest with ourselves and accept who we are, our abilities, and acknowledge when we’ve reached our limits is the goal. Without acceptance it’s impossible to move forward.

    Acceptance is critical when living with a chronic condition like diabetes. 

    People need to feel safe when engaging with their care team to acknowledge what they can do, along with what is challenging for them. Diabetes care and education specialists on the other hand, need to support those that live with diabetes as they learn to accept changes and new challenges in dealing with diabetes.And, practice acceptance understanding that people react to challenges differently. It’s critical to accept the person in front of you as they are, without judgement.

    A solution-focused challenge

    So our first challenge to you is to build your capacity for acceptance. Bring this word front and center in each encounter. Develop acceptance as a personal strength and help cultivate it in others. 

    Here are 5 solution-focused questions you can incorporate to focus on building acceptance:

    1. Could  you tell me about your strengths and qualities you are happy about?
    2. What is one thing you have come to accept in your life that took some time to process?
    3. How did you feel when you were finally able to accept that challenging situation?
    4. How could you use those experiences and feelings to move you forward to accept a new challenge now?
    5. How can I help you come to realize acceptance in your life?

    We hope you will enjoy this new series. Please share with colleagues and students and encourage others in keeping acceptance top of mind in interactions. 

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou


  • Fresh Views

    Make New Year’s Solutions (Instead of Resolutions) for 2020!

    With the start of the new year, many find themselves reflecting on the past year, re-evaluating life, and pondering what “resolutions” they will set for the new year.  New year’s resolutions often focus on “stopping” doing certain things and starting to make changes. Many resolutions revolve around trying to be healthier in some way.  Yet evidence shows that about 80% of people fail to stick to their New Year’s resolutions longer than six weeks.  That means by the time that Valentine’s Day rolls around, many have abandoned their desire to change. Often resolutions are attempts to find ways to solve problems.

    What if, instead of making New Year’s Resolutions which require change and “fixing”  problems (and change is hard!) – you focus instead on making New Year’s Solutions?

    Who doesn’t like a solution after all? One way to identify solutions is to focus on things that have gone well in the past, and pinpoint how you can do more of that (rather than trying to change).

    As you reflect on the past year, here are 5 questions to ask yourself and guide your thinking as you identify solutions:

    1. What went well for you in 2019?
    2. What did you feel happy about?
    3. What behaviors helped you feel successful and were doable?
    4. How can you do more that?
    5. Instead of thinking about “problems”, how can you reframe your thinking into positive “opportunities” and solutions? (Reframing a situation, idea, or belief can bring a fresh perspective. You can read more about this in our January 2, 2019 post.)

    We’d love to hear what your’re thinking about for your New Year’s Solutions. Connect with us on Twitter or Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 


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