Token of Julian


This is the story of a patient I have been working with for years in psychotherapy, describing his experiences and his observation (internal and external) at the time of his hospitalisation due to COVID-19 infection.

With the permission of the patient, who gave me this text on his return to treatment, I present it as a living example of «mentalisation», containing the traumatic situation he experienced.

COVID-19, traumatic experience, observing abilities, mentalization

[Automatic translation from Spanish]:

Last year, just before the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic alert, I saw the patient in a regular session, in a period when no preventive measures were taken. A week later Julian fell ill, COVID-19 positive. His whole family (wife and two teenage children) were also infected. He had to be urgently admitted to a public hospital because of his severe symptoms.

I stopped seeing the patient for more than three months. He told me that he had COVID-19 and that he would call me when he recovered. He never wanted to see me telematically.

When he returned to the clinic, the anti-COVID-19 protocol was already in place for face-to-face visits.

During this visit, she gave me a text in which she recounted her experiences during her stay in hospital. Reading the text (which I did after the session with him) left me very impressed and, I must confess, very moved.

For me, this text is a living example of how a well mentalised person (with a mind, with subjectivity, with a fluid preconscious, full of contents, representations, fantasies, agile), can cope with a traumatic situation thanks to his internal objects, his capacity to observe the «inside» and the «outside», his internal dialogue.

His story, apart from being very well written, is written without any dramatism, victimhood. It is vital and lively.
I asked him for permission to publish his testimony in Intercambios, because I found it interesting, which he kindly accepted. Not without a certain surprise, to see that his text had attracted my attention.

«I wrote it for me and for you», he told me. […]

José María Franco Vicario
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