Patient's situation as an limit situation
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Zakład Psychologii Zdrowia, Instytut Psychologii Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Submission date: 2015-12-17
Acceptance date: 2016-03-09
Publication date: 2016-06-19
Corresponding author
Błażej Wojdała   

Zakład Psychologii Zdrowia Instytut Psychologii Uniwersytet Jagielloński, ul. Stacheckiego Koliby 1/49, 98-200 Sieradz, Polska
Psychoter 2016;176(1):77–86
The aim of the article is to examine, if the 'limit situation' category, expressed by Karl Jaspers, aptly describe the situation of a patient, who seeks psychological help. According to Jaspers, suffering has two facets, it might be considered as a possible situation or as a limit situation. It is being avoided as far as it is possible, but eventually it is recognized as an unwanted but inevitable experience.

In the article, the patient's situation is considered in terms of suffering in the article. There is an ambiguity of this experience whichg is discussed.

Contrary to the conventional meaning, that emphasizes its aspect of being unwanted, suffering could be seen as an experience, which contributes to brighten the existence. Hence, a psychotherapist's role includes a kind of dualism, which depends on his or her attitude towards patient's suffering. Indeed, patient's suffering might be rejected or accepted.

Reflection on a patient's situation as a limit situation leads to the conclusion that process of providing psychological help is defined by two dimensions: the therapeutist's role is to intervene and to attend. To attentively respond to patient's suffering a therapeutist must engage both in action against suffering and non-action, which means in accompanying someone who suffers.