The Referral Partner Relationship: Notes From the Real World

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Editor’s Note: The following comes from an interview between Elizabeth Wyatt (a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy professional) and Dr. Lauren Gouin-Young (a naturopath), with whom Elizabeth has a referral partner relationship. This interview provides valuable insight from both parties about how to develop and maintain a fulfilling referral partner relationship.

My introduction to Dr. Gouin-Young came in the form of a client calling to say that her naturopath had referred her to me. I was pleased to receive the referral but was unfamiliar with Dr. Gouin-Young. With curiosity and gratitude for the referral, I called Dr. Gouin-Young’s office. My intention was to thank her for the referral and offer her more information about Phoenix Rising, while exploring the possibility of a mutually supportive referral partner relationship between the two of us. An invitation for an in-person meeting resulted from this call.

For the meeting in Dr. Gouin-Young’s office, I brought informational articles and business cards. I found that she was well acquainted with Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, having experienced Phoenix Rising sessions herself. “How great is this,” I thought. “Someone who understands the nature of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy and who has received it, too.”

Often the biggest challenge comes in explaining Phoenix Rising to a potential referral partner – educating about what it is and what the benefits are. Many times I offer sessions to potential referral partners as a way of conveying the value of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. The experience will speak for itself, often creating a fertile base for questions and answers around what Phoenix Rising is and is not, and how their potential referrals might benefit.

Presenting previous professional training or experience that is pertinent to the referral partner’s client or patient population in addition to Phoenix Rising training can serve to build trust. For example, I have a background in healthcare and this supports my own referral partner relationship with Dr. Gouin-Young.

From Dr. Gouin-Young’s perspective, she enjoys working with a Phoenix Rising practitioner who has a healthcare background. “I feel that having some other connection to healthcare,” she explains, “offers insight to some of the conditions my patients are facing.”

Having similar philosophies in each partner’s respective modality is another important aspect in cultivating a healthy referral partner relationship. For example, Dr. Gouin-Young recognizes and affirms the connection between body, mind, and spirit and gives it a key role in her patient protocol. Dr. Gouin-Young adds, “For me, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy is directly in line with my goals of empowering my patients and teaching them to better connect with and listen to their bodies.”

This all leads to a synergy between our respective practices that truly can support her patients. “We have separate practices but a mutual goal for our patients. Each of us is able to offer specific skills that together create a synergy for facilitating healing in our patients,” says Dr. Gouin-Young.

Dr. Gouin-Young cares for patients undergoing lab testing and treatments, which can often leave the patient with residual trauma. She finds that her patients, especially after traumatic surgery and invasive testing, have often coped by disconnecting themselves from their bodies.

Dr. Gouin-Young makes referrals when “patients are open to yoga, have a history of physical trauma from a health condition (i.e., breast cancer or surgery), and need help processing life experiences.”

Our professional referral relationship works and remains an excellent example of right relationship because we have a mutual trust for each other as well as respect born out of clear boundaries, open communication, and an understanding of our respective modalities.


About the Author

Elizabeth Wyatt

Elizabeth is a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy practitioner and mentor. She has worked in the areas of pulmonary care, critical care, and sleep medicine for the last 34 years. Elizabeth complements the standard medical model with Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy when treating her sleep patients. Recently she began a program teaching sleep technology and is looking forward to participating in a project with naturopathic physician Dr. Gouin-Young and cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra to train internal medicine residents in providing alternative care to their patients.

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