Body metaphors. The practice of Ericksonian psychotherapy in a reconstructive surgery clinic
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Narodowe Centrum Onkologii im. Marii Skłodowskiej-Curie, Państwowy Instytut Badawczy Oddział w Gliwicach, Klinika Chirurgii Onkologicznej i Rekonstrukcyjnej
Marta Nowak-Kulpa   

Narodowy Instytut Onkologii im. Marii Skłodowskiej-Curie Państwowy Instytut Badawczy Oddział w Gliwicach
Submission date: 2021-03-26
Final revision date: 2021-07-01
Acceptance date: 2021-07-30
Publication date: 2021-10-03
Psychoter 2021;197(2):39–50
The article presents a description of the techniques of Ericksonian therapy, with particular focus on the use of metaphors, during the treatment of patients of the Oncologic and Reconstructive Surgery Clinic. This therapy is based on the assumptions of Milton H. Erickson — focusing on resources, on the future, introducing changes in small steps, using everything that the patient brings, and most importantly, individualized method of work. This approach is effective in the department setting, where patients confront many unknowns during treatment and where flexibility and openness to change are especially valuable. Surgery that changes appearance, transforms body image and consequently, the sense of identity. Losing one's current self-image carries long-term consequences. Using psychotherapy from the beginning of these changes gives a chance to reduce the painful consequences of the loss. The presented descriptions of working with anxiety, pain or resignation are examples of a holistic approach to treatment. Patients receiving relief from psychological suffering are more determined to remain in long-term treatment and are more motivated to recover. They also benefit from support and information about what they need to take care of in order to fully recover.