Dr. Simonetta Betti – Psychologist Consultant – Manager
Dr. Gabriele Bonalumi – Psychologist Consultant
Sometimes the best way to help yourself is to ask for help
In 1977, George Engel, an American psychiatrist, formulated and introduced the “Patient Centered” or “Biopsychosocial” model into medicine, according to which any health or disease condition is the consequence of an interaction between biological, psychological and social factors. It is on this model that, from the beginning of the 1980s, psychology extends its skills from mental illness to organic illness. The collaboration with the wards and clinics of oncology, gynecology, neurology, nephrology and dialysis and pediatric cardiac surgery was born. Work is being done on patients’ non-collaboration in “adherence to treatment”, on psychological support for family members in the organization of the practical and emotional management of the patient’s illness, on burn-out and on work-related stress of paramedical staff.
What is Health Psychology in Arrhythmology?
Those who have experienced cardiac arrest, and also those who are at risk of arrest because of the presence of a certain heart condition, are faced with unexpected changes in their lifestyle, due to both diagnosis and implantation of the cardiac defibrillator. For some people, the heart and its rhythm become an object of constant attention and obsession, it feels different from before, and also foreign and sometimes little understood by those around you. Sensations of stress, fatigue, and emotional distress may appear. The goal, shared with the medical team, is to improve the quality of life of the patient and family members.
How can we help patients and their families?
Mind and body are interconnected: What happens in the mind (emotions, thoughts) affects the body, and what happens in the body affects the mind. The psychological assistance we offer is focused on the whole person and follows the “biopsychosocial” model:
BIO (the body)
- Lifestyle (nutrition, smoking, leisure, etc.)
- Relaxation strategies
PSYCHO (the mind)
- Stress management
- Changes in mood (anxiety and depressive symptoms)
- Sleep disorders
- Adaptation to the defibrillator
SOCIAL (Interaction with others)
- Incentive of social support and communication
- Association of patients
Psychological counseling is carried out both in the ward and through Skype and provides a cycle of meetings tailored to the needs of the individual patient.
The techniques used are the Mindfulness MBSR protocol applied to cardiac disorders and Imaginative Therapy derived from Clinical Hypnosis.
What is Health Psychology in Cardiogenetics
The blood of your parents is alive within you (Odyssey, chap. IV)
The path of genetic counseling is divided into three phases: pre-test genetic counseling, genetic testing, post-genetic testing. According to the Guidelines for Medical Genetics Activities, this is a complex communication process that requires the collaboration of several professional figures such as the geneticist, laboratory technician, and psychologist to help the person and family in understanding the information related to the genetic component of the disease. and the risk of passing it on. The goal is to propose genetic diagnosis as a cognitive tool useful for safeguarding one’s own health and that of family members and not a source of anxiety and concern.
Practical information relating to the Psychology Service
Psychological counseling can be carried out both privately and in agreement with the NHS.
For more information on how to access the Psychology Service and to make an appointment, you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02-5277-4260.
If you need to ask for information for the Psychology Service -> Information request and / or exam