David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 15 (4) (1994)
Recent research supports the hypothesis that more active engagement of the patient in occurring illnesses improves quality of life and probably even life expectancy.In this study experience and theoretical knowledge from psychotherapy is transplanted to clinical practice in order to improve the physician''s engagement in the patient-disease relationship. By defining severe and long-term illnesses as a psychotrauma, the transfer of the psychotherapeutical model leads to the creation of a new triangular relationship: patient-illness-doctor. Practical examples are used as illustrations for the conceptual differences between psychotherapy and clinical medicine. Options for dialogue show the difference between adaptation (learning to live with) and adjustment (active coping strategies and controlling). The hypothesis is that a better dialogue will reduce illness-related stress, giving the patient better and more effective access to personal psychic and physical support systems.
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