Therapeutic Connection through Attunement

Attunement with another human being is one of our earliest quests. It seems likely that evolution is at the heart of it, so to speak: We connect with each other, in the beginning, as part of a biological imperative to survive. Where there is deep connection between a baby and a primary caregiver, for example, food is more likely to arrive; protection is more likely to be forthcoming; abuse is less likely to enter the picture; and survival is more likely to be assured.

What in the world does this have to do with the provision of health care in the 21st century? 

We have discovered that it has everything to do with it. In this session we will propose that being fully present—attuned to the nuances of the patient’s words, movements, gestures, rhythms—is absolutely the first order of business. It is the basis of our clinical observations, which lead not only to better diagnosis and care, but to empathy, consideration of emerging data not noticed by others less attuned. It is the basis of a relationship with the patient, who responds to such attunement with greater openness to care, greater willingness to reveal, and the softening experienced by every human being who feels seen.   

Readings: See Me as a Person, (Koloroutis and Trout,2012)

                      Pages 25-57 – Presence through Attunement

                 Advancing Relationship Based Cultures (Koloroutis and Abelson eds., 2017)  

                      Pages 51-71 – Attunement as the doorway to human connection (Koloroutis and Trout)