THE PURPOSE OF THE RENACER GROUP


By Juan Francolino, Dad of Luciana, Renacer Group.

Translate by Adriana Coca, Mom of Luciana.


A few weeks ago a mom, member of the Lanús group, went to a doctor’s visit. The professional, after the necessary questions, learns that the patient has a dead daughter and therefore goes to the Renacer group. Then the doctor started giving his opinions about it, saying that the groups were useless and there was nothing to do, that she had to take psychotropic drugs. This is roughly the picture without entering into the details of the conversation, which was not sympathetic at all. Fortunately the mom, beyond the anger this situation arose in her, is very aware of the reasons why she comes to Renacer.

This situation allows us to observe what happens when a discipline invades an area beyond its sphere. According to Viktor Frankl man is a bio-psycho-socio-spiritual being. Within this conception, medicine in its different specialties has a its scope the physical health; specialties such as psychology and psychiatry have as their scope the mental health; religion will care for the health of the soul and social sciences will deal with different group conformations. The Renacer group works with the existential and experiential aspects inscribed within the social and spiritual dimensions.[1]

           Viktor Frankl says that in a doctor-patient relationship, the professional should not speak or give advice on questions related to religión or God; he may do it within a believer relationship.[2]  The doctor this mom consulted should not have spoken to her as he did within their doctor-patient relationship, because he gave his opinión about subjects he did not know or understand, such as the existential crisis experienced after the dead of a child and which can have consequences in different aspects of a person.

So, for instance, if a person suffers from a toothache which prevents him from sleeping his emotional state will be highly affected. Despite him being anxious due to pain, the solution to his problem won’t be given by psychology, religion, or a mutual help group; it is an issue which will be solved by dental medicine. The dentist will act with the purpose of curing his teeth and by doing so his pain will disappear, so his mood will improve. An improvement in his physical aspect will bring about an improvement in his psychical aspect. Each discipline will have its own purpose and, as a consequence will improve some aspects of the other dimensions.[3] The previous example is Basic and the difference is obvious, but there are cases where the limits between the spheres and very subtle. Religious people, many times, by going to a temple to pray or talk to their priest they improve their relationship with God and, as a consequence, they feel much better emotionally.

The Renacer group works within the field of experiences; not of beliefs, biology or psychology. We act within the shared experiences in order to find meaning to life after the death of a child. Renacer doesn’t invade foreign spaces; as evidence we can see parents who go to doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, religious temples, vindication-seeking groups and also go to a Renacer group. The Renacer group offers something different to the other areas and it is very respectful of them.

As the Renacer group does not ocupy foreign areas, we must be careful not to be invaded by subjects pertaining to other areas. We do not incorporate religious rituals because this is an ecumenical group because Renacer is joined by parents from any religion or from those without any religion; it is not a therapy group because it is formed by peers and there are no therapists. The Renacer group does not act as a psychotherapist and obviously, does not practice medicine.

The Renacer group is generous and respectful; it is our job to preserve it so its all-encompassing and distinctive task keeps growing, so that more parents facing the extreme situation of the death of a child can find their own path, having chosen freely to be better persons; where love, compassion and solidarity may give many people a better day.

[1] In the Renacer group we work with th espiritual aspects, which shall not be confused with the religious aspects. See: Schneider A., Berti G.; “El papel de la espiritualidad en la ayuda mutua”, available at: https://gruporenacer.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/el-papel-de-la-espiritualidad-en-la-ayuda-mutua-2/

[2] Frankl V., “La presencia ignorada de Dios. Psicoterapia y religión”,  Editorial Herder, Barcelona, 1977

[3] Frankl V., “La presencia ignorada de Dios. Psicoterapia y religión”,  Editorial Herder, Barcelona, 1977

 

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