Taking care of of care - The meaning of "cure" in medicine is examined, also in order to understand how in western civilization such a concept is historically determined. Two important aspects emerge. "To cure" means both to treat and to take care of, to look after someone. These two terms are intertwined, and their values and shortcomings are highlighted. There are contradictions in these two models both in medicine and in psychiatry, but a solution is found when the patient is the protagonist of treatment. Recovery represents the fundamental innovation, in that it helps the doctor in charge to re-examine and question his/her role in the relationship with the patient. This age of technology reduces the medical act into a simple service. Health care professionals should pay more attention to the moral principles involved in their work. This is particularly true in psychiatry, since real recovery occurs if a change comes about also in those responsible for treatment.
KEY WORDS: recovery, cure, care, psychotherapeutic relationship, empowerment