Dale A. Matthews, MD; Anthony L. Suchman, MD; William T. Branch Jr., MD
Healers must try to understand what the illness means to the patient and create a therapeutic sense of connection in the patientclinician relationship. A favorable climate for connexional experiences can be created through the use of various interviewing techniques. Attending to rapport, silencing internal talk, accessing unconscious processes, and communicating understanding can help clinicians enhance their sensitivity to the subtle clues on which issues of meaning and connection often depend. Several risks are associated with the establishment of closer patientclinician relationships, including dependence and power issues, sexual attraction, and deeper exposure of the clinician to the patient's pain. Prepared with an awareness of these risks and techniques to address them, clinicians are encouraged to deepen their level of dialogue with patients, to compare their experiences with those of other clinicians, and to thereby develop a more systematic understanding of therapeutic relationships.
Matthews DA, Suchman AL, Branch WT. Making Connexions: Enhancing the Therapeutic Potential of PatientClinician Relationships. Ann Intern Med. ;118:973–977. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-118-12-199306150-00010
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1993;118(12):973-977.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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