Methodist Healthcare - Employee Assistance Program



Myra Bennett

Blessings to You!

As a native Memphian, one of my favorite things about being Southern is the frequency with which we offer blessings. For example, when someone sneezes, we are quick to offer a "bless you." And when we need a little support, we might hear the familiar words "bless your heart." Recently, when I told a friend that my 88-year-old mother was in the hospital again, my friend solemnly shook her head, looked at me with kind eyes, and said, "Well, bless her heart. She sure is having a hard time." There was sweetness to the flavor of her words; but more than that, she blessed me. My friend conveyed that she cared about my mother's condition and understood my distress as the caregiver. Feeling understood is one of the greatest gifts we can give to one another.

In the South African tradition, the Zulu people understand that blessings come to them by being a member of a family that is connected to a village or community that cares about them. They have a saying, "A person is a person through other people." They believe that the blessings of life are always available to them through the wisdom of their ancestors and from their present day connections to one another. Isn't that a beautiful idea? This African wisdom teaches us that we cannot really know ourselves without the social interactions of other people who know us, both past and present.

As in the African tradition, the Methodist Healthcare EAP is connected to a larger entity of support called the Faith and Health Division. When you come to the EAP, you will receive a blessing born from a philosophy of care within the larger mission of our healthcare system. This philosophy of care is to "be treated well." Our mission is to improve and sustain life in all of its components: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

The first objective of the Methodist EAP counselor is to create a space where you can feel safe to explore your concerns. The counselor becomes an agent of blessing out of which more blessings emerge. Our clients typically report that the most helpful aspect of counseling is feeling understood and supported.

We are making it easier for you to come to the EAP by adding another office location. In addition to our primary office at 5050 Poplar, a counselor is available every Thursday in the Center of Excellence in Faith and Health at Methodist University Hospital , 1265 Union Avenue . When you call to make an appointment, simply designate the office which is more convenient for you.

Come, and receive a blessing!

Author: Myra Bennett received her Masters Degree in 1985 and her Doctor of Ministry Degree in Faith and Health in 2010. She is a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Therapist, a Board Certified Chaplain, and a Certified Employee Assistance Professional. She has worked for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare for 23 years and has been an EAP counselor for 19 years.