The courage to treat

Aviva Fried*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The treatment of a sick person is an invasive act of a professional and humane nature. It is based on both acquired and proven knowledge, as well as accrued clinical experience. When invading the patient's life during treatment in order to bring about beneficial results, we must rely on these two sources of knowledge. Knowledge based on clinical findings achieve validity in an empiric process of research. Knowledge based on clinical experience, by its very nature, cannot be validated empirically and depends on intuition, analogies, common sense and courage. Courage, among other things, is the ability to recognize one’s own limitations as a therapist during treatment, and the readiness to change and expand them when necessary. This courage is the ability of the therapist to accept the existence of his own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of his patient and to realize that empathy cannot be total. Furthermore, it is necessary to realize that a certain ambiguity is a necessary part of the treating process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • Courage
  • intuition
  • therapeutic languages
  • treatment


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