Syndromes with Surprising Psychotherapy Solutions

Posted on May 18, 2015

Most people now acknowledge that the mind and body are inextricably linked, and problems in one are often related to problems in the other. Yet some bodily complaints seem so physically based that it is hard to imagine that any kind of talk therapy could touch them. Here are some examples:

1. HEADACHE When a headache hits, most of us reach for over-the-counter pain relievers, and in severe cases physicians might prescribe medication. In a pilot study reported last year in Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, the researchers assigned participants to either a control group or to six sessions of mindfulness-based therapy over three weeks. The mindful participants had significantly fewer headaches but not the control group.

2. INSOMNIA People who have trouble falling asleep or remaining asleep long enough to feel rested are typically treated with sedatives. Evidence suggests that cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) may work just as well, if not better, than these drugs at managing insomnia, especially in the long term. A 2005 randomized controlled trial found that insomniacs receiving CBT fell asleep faster and slept more soundly than those taking sedatives and that participants receiving both interventions did no better than those who underwent only therapy.

3. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that often includes symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea, and constipation. Diet and lifestyle changes are an essential part of treatment, and many experts recognize the importance of addressing psychological symptoms because 50 to 90 percent of patients have co-occurring mental disorders such as anxiety, depression or social phobia. A new meta-analysis published online in December 2014 in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research examined data from 48 randomized controlled trials investigating psychological interventions for IBS. They found that symptoms improved when psychological distress diminished.

Click on the link below to find out what other ailments can be treated with therapy.

Category(s):Health / Illness / Medical Issues, Mindfulness

Source material from Scientific American