Vol. 21 No. 2
Educational Tips

The parallel chart as a cognitive and empathetic tool for a solid alliance between caregiver and caretaker

Grazia Chiarini, GC
Istituto di Formazione Psicosomatica Massimo Rosselli
Beatrice Roncato, BR
Celeste Belcari, CB
Published May 17, 2022
  • parallel medical file, empathy, therapeutic relationship.


Introduction: Ten participants to a training course in therapeutic relationships for doctors and psychologists were invited to write a final project work about a care pathway for a patient. They were assigned to complete a semi-structured sheet alongside a parallel medical file together with a patient.The objective was stimulating the participants to catch aspects related to the caregiver/caretaker relationship and use the parallel medical file as an empathic and cognitive tool for the co-construction of a therapeutic path.

Methods: The 30-hour training course was divided into three seminars on an online platform.

The seminars dealt with theoretical lessons, Balint groups and narrative groups, in which the didactic methodology of close reading and close looking was used (R. Charon, 2006). The final project works were analyzed qualitatively by identifying certain thematic areas using the A. Frank's (1995) classification.

Outcome: Interesting contents emerged from the analysis of the texts. Among them, particularly relevant was the shared reading of the parallel medical file of a psychologist and her patient that made it possible to get to know information related to the work with the patient and the emotional aspects of the relationship.

Conclusions: The qualitative analysis of the final project works, together with the exchange of experiences and reflections on one's own work and emotions, highlighted how useful the parallel medical file and the involvement of the patient on writing it are to enrich the therapeutic relationships and facilitate the dialogue caretaker/caregiver.