The difficult patient

In this paper, Hinshelwood (Professor of Psychoanalysis at the Centre for Psycho-analytic Studies, University of Essex) argues that staff dealing with “difficult patients” retreat from their inevitable but uncomfortable emotional responses into an objectified stance that can mask their significance. He explores how, in fact, these feelings can provide important information about such patients, if we can face up to thinking about them.

Difficult patients create reactions in the staff who care for and treat them. Those professional reactions, in turn, cause more difficulties for the patients and ultimately for the service we run. My thesis in this paper is that people with severe personality disorder provoke two general categories of characteristic responses in their attendants that are specifically associated with a scientific attitude in psychiatry.
Last updated on: Monday, 16 April 2012

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