Starting from the assumption that the heart is strongly influenced by the psychological state of patients and that there is therefore a strong correlation between mind and body, psyche and cardiovascular system, Istituto Cardiocentro Ticino, originally in collaboration with the Lugano Group Research Institute (IRG ), wanted to introduce within its structure a new service focused on the “psycho-mental” dimension of the patient, a traditionally neglected aspect, but also important in the highly technological field of cardiological medicine. The diagnosis of heart disease, in fact, places the patient in a state of profound anxiety, characterized by a feeling of injustice and a massive break in identity. It’s in this context that the Cardiopsychotherapy service of the Cardiocentro Ticino Institute finds its specificity within the institute: processing the illness, reflecting on it and restructuring one’s body image are in fact fundamental steps for a full recovery.
Managed by the psychologist and psychotherapist Martino Regazzi and his collaborators, the service Cardiopsychotherapy at the Cardiocentro Ticino Institute intervenes at multiple levels to help patients and family members. Interventions can be classified as preventive or curative. The figure of psychotherapist is assisted by that of the counselor, who aims to promote culture of reception with interviews before interventions, offering support in decision-making processes and of change, allowing the patient to increase their personal level of awareness of own resources and needs.
During the post-intervention period, the psychotherapist offers the possibility of support psychological/psychotherapeutic treatment to those who demonstrate the need. Even after discharge, the service offers the possibility of short, medium and long-term psychotherapy interviews and is solicited with increasing frequency also by family members of terminally ill patients hospitalized in intensive care or in Rehabilitation, offering both individual and group interventions.
The Cardiopsychotherapy service is also active in the field of research, collaborating actively with the various services of the Cardiocentro Ticino Institute.
Video presentation of the article appeared on Giornale del Popolo the 10/02/2017.