N.39 - Building a therapeutic community. A case of therapeutic engineering

Consultation in support of the professional ego?


The authors describe their experience as consultants that supported the professional ego in favour of the clinical teams of Il Porto Therapeutic community. In providing their support to the team, the authors tried to take care of this space for mutual advices and reflection, protected from the daily anxiety of pressing clinical decision-making, to facilitate the elaboration of thoughts so as to finally express what, in an operational context marked by urgency and rapid response, the group did not have the mental time or space to put in words.

Formation, in the field of treatment, consists primarily of improving tolerance to the uncertainty, insecurity and dependency of subjects (patients/guests of the community) that are always difficult to define or control through treatment protocols. As Donald Meltzer (1) posits, one passes from the omnipotence/omniscience that underpins the fantasy of controlling the subject to the encounter with limits, dependency, finiteness and, in essence, depression.

Thus, in this perspective, the type of support provided was one geared to confronting the depressive tendency coursing through a group of workers tasked with treating mental suffering.

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