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Tvp20 11omslag kijk verder

Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 62 (2020) 2, 141 - 147

Essay

Il faut imaginer Sisyphe heureux. The special position of the existential dimension in humanistic psychiatry

M. Eneman, B.G.C. Sabbe, J. Corveleyn

background The models used in theoretical and practical psychiatry mostly encompass, with varying accents, the biological, psychological and social dimension. However, humanistic psychiatry concerns the existence as a whole. What about the care for the existential dimension?
aim To explore and to describe the existential dimension in psychiatry as containing the biopsychosocial aspects and continuously in interaction with them.
method Personal reflection of three senior authors, also in exchange with authors who have accompanied us during our professional life.
results The existential dimension should be included as a special, encompassing dimension in the models used in psychiatry. In humanistic psychiatry every intervention, whether biomedical or psychosocial, should be situated in an existential perspective. Care for the existential dimension surpasses the dichotomy biomedical-psychosocial.
conclusion Not respecting the existential dimension induces shortcomings towards patients and harms a truly humanistic psychiatry.

keywords biopsychosocial, existential, Frankl, humanistic, meaning and purpose