A few days ago I attended a workshop of Personal growth for chronically ill patients by the psychologist Rocío Rivero López at Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío in Seville. 

The workshop was very dynamic and proactive, so the attendees should have the five senses open. This fact particularly liked me because I am used to receive information from a unidirectional mode. Many are the conclusions that I have drawn from these fruitful hours and want to share them with you.

To begin with I wonder, what can I do I as a professional to encourage the personal growth of the patient?

· By creating a good relationship with the patient, in a safe environment that generates trust and intimacy and thus being able to contribute to the development of mutual respect and trust.

· By showing interest in the welfare and future of the patient.

· By active listening to the concerns of the patient, their needs. Allowing and encouraging the patient to express what his/her feelings are, their perceptions, concerns and beliefs…

· By maintaining effective communication during the consultations with the patient, providing a clear language to have the most positive impact. Helping to understand treatment and follow-up.

· By supporting the patient to feel important in the development of treatment providing actions that improve this involvement.

Through psychological techniques results can be improved in the direct care to patients. The patient should decide about their state of health, choosing actions that will carry out for that improvement, approving their decisions and celebrating their improvement.

We can make them aware what their problem are, and they should accept and decide, with questions similar than these:

  • What can I do to improve this situation? 
  • How can I manage this? 
  • What are the limits to solve this situation? 
  • What can I do with my change because of my health problem? 
  • Am I doing everything I can? 

By using Psychology of health, the path the patient should travel can be easier. During this journey they find obstacles which should be aware to confront and overcome them. It´s needed to open the mind to change. Supporting in the people who surround them: family and friends.

Life is changing permanently. We must learn to manage these changes, leaving the comfort zone, because change is an opportunity to prepare and get personal growth.

Thank you Rocío for putting us out of our comfort zone, to make us see that in hospitals also we can laugh, create, and also grow. To eliminate the fear of living.

I want to thank the work of psychologists in the Health care system. Despite appalling conditions, they paint colour and splashe of joy to improve the stay of the people we serve and also ours.

Thank you
Cristina Herrera