Cutting Edge Psychology

Psychogenic conditions

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 7:40 PM

This interesting Canadian newspaper article discusses the broad range of psychogenic conditions for which there are no known physical causes. A case example of an adolescent boy in Sydney is given, which shows conditions broader than only chronic pain.

This article can be read in conjuction with an ABC Radio National interview with British psychiatrist and professor at Leeds University, Allan House, who has successfully treated people with 'hysterical paralysis' using depth-psychology approaches. The patients he describes are those who have been wheelchair bound due to a 'functional' paralysis, for which there is no physical cause. Rather than malingering, these people would be unable to leave and run from their wheelchairs in order to save themselves in a fire. House uses depth-psychology approaches, in conjunction with physiotherapy to recondition muscles which have atrophied from years of no use, in order to help these people walk again- some, after decades of being in a wheelchair. If psychological approaches are able to achieve this, successfully treating chronic pain seems less impossible.

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