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The Swedish word, 'bemötande', has no direct equivalent in English but refers to contact, treatment and the relationship with a patient. 'Bemötande', in the context of care, concerns amongst other things how the session is conducted and takes place. The experience of a positive 'bemötande' is important for the patient and relatives to be able to feel trust and confidence, as well as to create a well-functioning working alliance. A respectful 'bemötande' is made more difficult by people's need to classify and see individuals as 'us' and 'them'. A positive 'bemötande' can reinforce patients' self-esteem and have an empowering effect. In this article, we discuss positive 'bemötande' in a transcultural psychiatric care context and focus, in particular, upon the vulnerable patient. We also give examples of how an organisation can contribute to good contact with the local community and facilitate the encounter with individual patients.
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