Specific psychological interventions

It is important to explain the symptoms to the patient, not belittling them as trivial or unreal, but introducing the idea of mind-body interactions, for example, by explaining the physiology of anxiety, or by pointing out time links between psychological stress and onset of symptoms. Giving positive suggestions that improvement is likely to occur with time is probably helpful. Specific therapy with a cognitive-behavioural approach (see Chapter 22) may enable patients to view their symptoms in a more logical way, and gain greater control over them. In other cases, a psychodynamic approach to the conflicts underlying the physical complaint is helpful.

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