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A Woman Patient with Conversion Disorder in Psychotherapy: From the Perspective of Self Psychology

Horng-Maw Chen, Kelly Chang, Ming-Shun Chung

Background: Conversion disorder presents itself with symptoms suggesting a neurological disorder although they are incompatible to any recognized neurological or medical condition. Evidences of mechanism of etiology and restoration are limited. We presented a case for possible mechanism of restoration from the perspective of self psychology. The Study Subject: We reviewed the chart of a 31-year-old single woman suffering from seizures for two years, who was diagnosed as conversion disorder. She was referred to psychiatric clinic and received self psychology-oriented individual psychotherapy. Therapeutic Process and Formulation: The interaction between patient and therapist formed new self experience, which would have integrated with past self experience and improve self cohesiveness. The seizures were gradually subsided after about ten-month psychotherapy without the use of any anti-epileptic drugs. Conclusion: With empathy, there would be formation of selfboject which could connect with the emotion isolated by conversion. The individual could finally face his/her emotion and the conversion would not be presented.
Key Word Conversion disorder, psychotherapy, self psychology, selfobject
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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