Lifelong Learning Programme

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Personal Experience

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Bella ciao

Language: English
Country: Italy
Typology: health care professionals
I have started my professional training as psychologist many years ago in a centre for elder people with Alzheimer Disease. Every time I wrote, studied or came in the day-centre, the psychology combined with emotions, with my personal past. Now, I know that choice was due to personal reasons, more affective than rationale, because I was grown up in countryside with my grandparents and other elder peasants of my bucolic childhood. But, in an AD day-centre, I guessed impossible or extremely difficult to be in relationship with patients loosing memory, speech, orientation, attention… I remember a lady, as kind as deteriorated, nearly unable speaking and recognizing health workers. Few days before Christmas, a morning, in the hall, she was singing out Bella ciao (a popular song of partisans in the World War II). Amused, slowly, I kept on singing with that lady. In that moment, present combined with past: the actual patient’s speech by a song and the relationship between me end her by that song of the past (maybe of her childhood, and for me a song from the “legendary” old partisans friends of my family). That time, in my opinion, a simple song helped to understand a piece of personal history and individual identity of a patient with which, otherwise, it would have been very difficult to communicate. Then my training was focused on neuropsychological assessment, but every setting (testing too) is a relational context, therefore a narrative approach is leading up to understand and “be with” the patient. And, sometimes, even a song may be a “narrative” tool to understand a little more the patient.

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