Patrick Chaltiel : Families and Psychiatry: How to Reduce Misunderstandings

The encounter between family and caregivers in psychiatry often has negative aspects for both sides from the start. There is fear on the part of the caregivers that the emotional surge of ambivalence and double binds could disturb a diagnostic and therapeutic practice classically founded on separation, while the family fears guilt-arousing accusation of ill-will that have long served to distance it from therapeutic construction. But an integrative “multi-partner therapy,” in which each of the actors involved must discover their own resources and investigate the mechanisms of their own psychic coherence, has clear benefits, both for the patient’s social prognosis and the prevention of secondary pathologies induced by the suffering of the patient’s family. Still, it is necessary to eradicate the prejudices of the past, which are resistant and insidiously persist in poisoning the natural relations between the inevitable protagonists of any coherent treatment aimed at integration and de-stigmatization.