Introduction

Introduction

The interaction between a doctor and her patient is one of the most fundamental human relationships. This course will consider the ethical implications that arise in every healing encounter as they relate to power and authority.

The first section explores the dual nature of healer and patient that exists in each person. I propose the idea that a doctor has an "inner patient" just as the patient has an "inner doctor." These basic principals form what are called archetypal patterns.

The second section delves further into the doctor-patient archetypes and describes the ways in which they manifest in a clinical setting.

From here we proceed to the important sections on the splitting of the archetypes. I show how both the doctor and patient can split, deny, or repress one side of this archetypal pair. The consequences of splitting for both patient and doctor are also explored.

The final sections propose practical ways in which the doctor can prevent splitting the doctor-patient archetypes in both himself and his patient.

While much of this material may at first seem theoretical, this course provides a pragmatic approach to dealing with common clinical relationships.

A note on terminology: I use the words doctor, physician, clinician, and healer synonymously. I likewise use the words patient and client synonymously.