Fondazione Zoé

The freedom of the patient in care must be sustained and it must be taken charge of.

When you care the capacity to wait and hope must come forward. Trying to remember that liberating yourself from physical and psychological illness is a long task and must be followed by a patient who is able to make informed decisions for themselves. This can lead those who care to feel inefficient or feel that their efforts are wasted. Continuing, however to prove them wrong and discuss behaviour, a trusting care relationship means watching from afar. It means that, beyond the sequence more or less visible from some unacceptable practices, put into place by the patient, and going back to the (hidden) capacity of following correct procedures. It means, in a way, having eyes in the back of your head. All that is only a potential, is always invisible.

There is a need to treat the patient in care without every forgetting their condition as a human being, which belongs to an incontrovertible type of dignity. And this is because our forms of vulnerability do not ever diminish the original, natural dignity of a human being, but only their operative capacity; it is because treating a person in care as a normal person, means evoking in the patient all that is provisionally impeded by their fragile psyche. In other terms, in order to obtain some results, there is a need to always speak to the good parts of a human and become familiar with them. But the good parts are first those contained in the essence or in our nature.

A relevant dimension in the care relationship is constituted by the ‘taking charge of negativity’ of the patient. Being negative is a difficult thing, even more so if the negative is that which others bring with them. Welcoming others is also a form of negativity which is left to fester or left in some way to hurt. A repulsive instinct of the carer is to always take into account. But this can remain out of control, for those who are the responsible carers, if they are able to absorb the negativity, giving it a certain mean through interpreting it or ‘digesting’ it, restoring the patient to the same mind-set as before, but reclaimed. A patient must be able to identify this permanent form of reclamation from their carer. Alone, in fact, the patient can difficultly come to terms with their illness.

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