• Question: do you ever get emotionally attached to patients?

    Asked by grey494hen on 20 Nov 2023.
    • Photo: removed scientist

      removed scientist answered on 20 Nov 2023:

      I don’t as I don’t have patients. Not all psychologists treat people, I am involved in teaching and research.

    • Photo: David McGonigle

      David McGonigle answered on 20 Nov 2023:

      I wouldn’t, per se, say emotionally attached. But, I have been involved with studies in chronic pain – disorders where pain occurs usually in the absence of an actual injury or when the pain remains after the injury heals.

      These were in-depth studies which took place over two days. The participants would be tested, have brain scans, and fill in questionnaires… and I would have coffee and lunch with them. It’s hard not to be genuinely affected by their descriptions of going to their doctor, then a consultant, and being told they couldn’t find anything wrong with you.

      Pain is particularly problematic – it can’t be ‘seen’ like a broken arm, and so we need to tell people we’re in pain. Several disorders are almost like an ‘invisible plague’ – not one that can be transmitted, but one that is unfair as the sufferers suffer from the twin problem of being in pain and, potentially, not being believed by their doctors.

      Now that I’m also a chronic pain or ‘neuropathic pain’ person – I have a problem with my spine that affects the nerves carrying signals from my skin, which usually results in me feeling pain in those regions – I think I have a bit more insight as well, and this is an area that I’m trying to do more work on in Cardiff! I hope that’s insightful! Dave

    • Photo: Berengere Digard

      Berengere Digard answered on 21 Nov 2023:

      I don’t work with patients as I am a researcher in Psychology, not a Clinical Psychologists. I do get attached to the population I’m working with, though not often to specific individual (that being said, I did become friend with a few people who took part in my research)

    • Photo: Malwina Niechcial-McKenna

      Malwina Niechcial-McKenna answered on 21 Nov 2023:

      I don’t work with patients. However, I do get a bit attached to my research participants, especially those I see quite often.

    • Photo: Emma Sullivan

      Emma Sullivan answered on 11 Dec 2023:

      I don’t work with patients, I am just involved in research and teaching.