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Psychotherapists treating bodily disease: dreaming or realistic goal for healthcare?

Psychotherapists treating bodily disease: dreaming or realistic goal for healthcare?

Western healthcare is seriously limited by pervasive acceptance of dualistic concepts of mind and body, by entrenched scientific industrial ambition, by a monolithic agenda of evidence-based medicine that renders individual data invisible, and by clinical methods centred upon diagnosis rather than persons and persons-in-relationship. There is much research evidence that subjectivity (story) matters in health and disease. Psychoneuroimmunology research, narrative medicine, the new positive psychologies, the research on the health benefits of traditional values, social networks, and occupation, modern concepts of embodied cognition, and renewed interest in the person-to-person elements of the clinician/patient relationship, all point to a gradual closing of the culturally-assumed gap between mind and body. But there is no such gap. Subjectivity and physicality are dimensions of a unitive being, the person, and co-emergent from conception. They do not separate – separation is an observer construction.  

The intimate relations between subjectivity (or story) and disease are best seen in symbolic diseases where the bodily manifestation and the patient’s highly specific and personal life meanings exquisitely mirror one another. But there are strong grounds for assuming that all physical disease normally arises because of both physical and subjective factors. It is time for psychotherapy to claim a rightful role in the treatment of physical disease conditions, particularly chronic medical conditions, the management and economics of which are becoming critical to the viability of Western healthcare provision. Psychotherapists must desist from sitting comfortably on the subjectivity side of the mind and body divide, and actively engage with physical illness

Areas of Interest / Categories: Positive Psychology, WCP 2011

WCP 2011

Defining the concept of spirituality among Filipino counselors and clients.

The individual and the couple in the context of the perinatal experience. A dream or a nightmare?

"There is no such thing as marriage - merely two scapegoats sent out by their families to perpetuate themselves". Whittaker & Keith 1981. This presentation will explore the experience of Anxiety and Depression for both men and women, in the perinatal period. The perinatal period offers a unique opportunity to provide comprehensive care for parents diagnosed with perinatal Anxiety and/or Depression. There is significant evidence that the partner's risk for developing a related Anxiety or Depression, is increased from 4.8% to 36% at 6 weeks postnatally. 

The universality of infant-parent psychotherapy - a South African model

The birth of the democratic South Africa opened up the possibility of meeting with fellow citizens who had previously been kept apart.  Since 1995 a model of  infant-parent psychotherapy has been developed resulting in a mental health service which has come to be valued within the community.

Complex trauma: voices of healing

Within the context of the recent natural disasters occurring around the world, attention has been focussed on trauma's psychological consequences. The trauma spotlighted here is on that of childhood maltreatment and the effects on subsequent adult life. Described in this paper are experiences of recovery from patient perspectives, and an examination of how these are different from, and interact with, representations of therapy derived from published expert theoristpractitioner experience. It is based on a phenomenological study of reports from seven women with histories of chronic childhood maltreatment. These women have since been through significant recovery from dissociative symptoms, and it is this part of their journey that was the focus of this research. From the data, two models are proposed.

The Light In Darkness - Art-therapy, a powerful tool in Palliative Care!

Over the years, we as health care providers have proven that a good perinatal preparation, a good birthing process and a good postnatal care ensures the physical and mental well being of the newborn and his mother. A similar opportunity for quality outcome should be afforded at life`s final phase - preparation and a good 'gateway' for the dying person, as well as a good follow - up period of those left behind. A good death needs guidance to settle outstanding issues, to articulate values, beliefs and doubts and to live the remaining period of life in the fullest and most meaningful way. Early contact is pivotal to learn about our client and his life history. This time is needed to build our client`s trust, to endorse our commitment, and to collect the tools needed to guide him through the gateway and when taking his last breath. It is equally important to meet the immediate needs of his family and to develop the crucial trusting partnership that will ensure a good dying process for their loved one in setting of his choice, and a better acceptance of their loss. It is realistic to assume that people in the future will invest in their final time. 

Lateral violence and Indigenous peoples.

Lateral violence occurs when the violence associated with oppression is internalised by those who are oppressed, and redirected between the members of the oppressed group. Among Aboriginal and Torres

Clinical dream incubation and body

For 1000 years during the beginning of Western medicine (500 B.C. - 500 A.D.,) of the hundreds of medical treatments offered at the time, only dream-based medicine was ubiquitously practiced throughout