My psychiatrist and I: a singular relationship

One delivers to him his hidden side, his shadows, his crossings, his pettinesses. Man or woman, he is the one who listens without judging. Between him and his patient, a singular bond is formed and a sometimes complex relationship can be established. Decryption to navigate.

Pascale Senk

A friend? Certainly not. A confidant? Yes, of course. The spillway of our pangs and lamentations? It depends on the days. It is not easy to define the extraordinary link that is established between a patient and the one most often designated by a laconic "my shrink". However, the real driving force of a therapy - all the therapeutic chapels and their users agree at least on this point - is what happens between patient and therapist, this human encounter that is played in a very specific context . What is this singular relationship made of?

The transfer, okay, but also his beyond

"Me, lying down and him sitting behind." In France, when we think about psychology, we still think of classical psychoanalysis. An interlocutor withdrawn, rather cold and distant, almost silent, listening to a patient who tries to say everything that goes through his head. The extreme discretion of the psychoanalyst then has one goal: to allow the patient to attribute to him feelings or intentions which, in fact, refer to his own history. A mechanism that has been theorized by Freud as transfer.

Psychotherapists also incorporate this notion of transference into their practice, but do not limit the relationship to the patient with this mechanism. "There is also a beyond the transfer, affirms Alain Delourme, psychotherapist. I dare say it, of love, a love without passion and without taking action. "

This is undoubtedly one of the reasons which lead more and more people to prefer today the cabinet From psychotherapist to divan "In fifteen years of cure, my analyst had to address me ten sentences," says Jean-François. Before adding: "But I must admit that I still remember each of them, so much were they relevant." After a period of rest, he still preferred to continue working with a sophrologist. "I can talk to him as an equal, because she also expresses herself."

This need for a relationship in front of face, even physical contact with his psychiatrist - as in Gestalt or rebirth, therapies where the professional "supports" his patient when he relives archaic emotions - seems in tune with our time.

Need to listen, need a setting

"My parents did not take care of me What I missed, I went to look for the psys", summarizes Béatrice, 52 years old.At a time when everyone can feel the target of information, commercials, the therapist is for many the ideal interlocutor: the one who finally welcomes. Open a space. Jean-François, who consulted after a painful break-up, needed this welcome: "Being able to talk to someone who is fully available to me has restored my ability to trust another human being."

Listening and capable of attention without judgment, the psychiatrist is the one to whom one can deliver his hidden face. His shadows, his travels, his pettiness. New facets of her being, as is the case for Véronique, 41: "In therapy, I am no longer the wife of, the mother of, the daughter of ... I tell myself in my truth of the moment and I am welcomed as a unique human being, I am "I."

This unconditional listening and presence - not found anywhere else - is in fact the salt of the profession. A paid service. And money is in this sense an essential element of the therapeutic device. "It is the money that allows the patient to benefit from professional listening, explains the neuropsychiatrist Mony Elkaïm, and to free himself from any debt to the patient. psychotherapist. " 42-year-old Aline took a long time to understand: "I always wanted to do well, to be the ideal patient, so I only told funny stories." Little by little, I realized that this time of the session was a When I really felt that I was listening to my shrink, I allowed myself to be able to tell him everything ... and the therapy was then able to start. "

within a rather rigid framework - regularity of the sessions, rituals proper to each technique, limited time, financial cost - that the greatest freedom meets. A well-trained psychiatrist learns not to put his moods, his feelings, his personality forward. Alain Delourme explains: "If I spend an hour with a friend, we talk 50/50.He talks about his life, me about mine.With a patient, I'm not in the sharing. When I tell him something, it is for a specific purpose: to serve him and help him in his problematic. " Jean-Michel Fourcade, president of the French federative association of psychotherapy organizations (Affop), adds: "A psychiatrist is always" falsely friend. "He keeps inside him the distance beneficial to the patient.


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