Based on an individual case, we examine the experience of a young man battling with unresponsive chronic pain. Our objective was to focus on the complexity of the situation and to propose a therapeutic attitude where search for cure, often only partially attainable, implies integration within a more vast project, i.e. the development, in partnership with the patient, of unexplored possibilities of existence which, by their nature, would relieve the suffering resulting from the restrictions issuing from the increased vulnerability caused by certain of the patient's favorite activities. While empathy undeniably plays an important role in the efficacy of care provided for this type of patient, very careful interrogation, which requires going beyond standardized technicity and relies more on the art of understanding rather than that of explaining, would be the key to a successful prescription, both ethically and epistemologically. As for other types of pathological situations, the patient's well-being depends mainly on the way he/she copes with the loss of the future horizon caused by the traumatic event. Our approach leads to a prospective " anamnesis" with more than a simple etiological objective. © 2010.
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