Eric J. Cassell

in The Nature of Healing

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780195369052
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979103 | DOI:

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The Foundation of the Healing Relationship of Patient and Clinician: An illness is a tale of an individual unique life being lived in its quotidian detail, complex interpersonal activities—work, marriage, parenthood, aspirations and purposes—and how a pathophysiology interferes. The importance of the narrative is discussed. This chapter is about listening attentively—what that is, how it is done, and what it is used for. Listening is necessary to know about the illness, the patient, and the illness experience. Listening is most effective when healer and patient are connected through the relationship. A thorough discussion of the relationship is given. Also discussed are the effect of the healer and the relationship on the universal burdens of serious illness—fear, ignorance, uncertainty, and diversion of purpose; the barriers to attentive listening; solving the problem of the time attentive listening requires; the importance of the healer’s courage; and attentive listening as one aspect of a healer’s silent receptive mind.

Keywords: listening; listening, attentively; narrative; doctor-patient relationship; connection; courage; fear; ignorance; uncertainty; purpose, diversion of

Chapter.  10313 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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