AIMS AND OBJECTIVES The aim of this study was to complement 'expert' knowledge about speech-language therapy by studying the phenomenon of professional aphasia care from the patient's perspective. BACKGROUND The methods for assisting patients with aphasia have mainly been based on speech language therapy with methods for training language. However, the effectiveness of mereley training has not been conclusively proven. In this study, it was assumed that patients with impaired use of language require professional caring interventions as a base for training. DESIGN A phenomenological approach was used to gain understanding of patients' lived experiences of professional aphasia care. METHOD Data consisted of eight in-depth interviews, four follow-up interviews, two notes from diaries and two biographies. Data were analysed according to a descriptive phenomenological method. RESULTS The essential meaning of the phenomenon was: trusting the patient's competence while facing existential issues. To enhance understanding, the essential meaning was specified in terms of the following constituents: preventing isolation, straightforwardness, provision of security, recognition of caring needs, encouraging efforts to practise language, equality and supporting maintenance of identity. CONCLUSIONS This study adds to the knowledge about speech-language therapy that professional aphasia care presupposes a secure base and a carer who recognises and trusts the patient's ability to think and communicate. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE Implications for clinical practice are outlined under the following main headings, a secure caring base, encourage a fighting spirit and expressions of feelings, facilitate communication, try to understand the patient's existential situation and enable patients to recognise that their self-image derives from the painful experience of losing the world of symbols. Inside is the same person and carers should make it clear that they are aware of that.