Somatisation

Is the most common experience in which the body expresses unacknowledged by the mind feelings. Symptoms are unique to every person and may include sudden heart palpitations, sweating, numbness, increase or decrease in body temperature, shaky hands, stammering, loss of balance, bowel problems, nausea, tiredness, headaches or any other aches. This may leave the individual confused about their experiences. Latest research has proven that there is a strong connection between mind and body and when the mind is out of balance it will be reflected in the body and vice versa. This means that bodily symptoms point towards the need to look deeper into their meaning and the information they carry. It may that the individual does not consciously want to face difficulties in their life or that the psyche automatically protects the owner from distress by ignoring or shutting down the awareness of difficulties. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is the most efficient way to discover the root cause of the symptoms and assist the individual in processing hidden from the awareness feelings, memories or fears that usually leads to relief of bodily symptoms.

Conversion

Bodily symptoms may extend to resemble serious medical condition, cause the individual physical difficulties or temporary disability. In cases where there is no medical reason for the physical disorder, symptoms are viewed as a conversion disorder. It is caused by severe stress, trauma, perception of threat or depression. Often the bodily symptoms may mimic those of flight or fight response, where body freezes, is experienced as paralysed, there is a difficulty swallowing, walking or talking, weakness, unresponsiveness, body shakes, loss of sensory experience, seizures or lack of consciousness may occur. Similarly, to somatisation, where mental experience of the event is denied its acknowledgment or expression through feeling hurt or talking about it, the energy travels to the body and is expressed through it. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy will help you to learn to feel safe in your body so that underlying difficulties can be faced in your own time, provide body related psychoeducation and help you explore the body mind link. Your psychotherapist will then guide you towards the most effective solutions to the underlying problem.

Chronic pain

Medically unexplained chronic pain might be pointing to its psychological roots. Certain attitudes such as hypervigilance or increased focus on the painful sensations tend to increase the impact of pain. If you are feeling depressed, stressed or going through a difficult time in your life, career or family, all this can cause additional sensitive to painful sensations. With the help of cognitive behavioural therapy your psychotherapist will help you to identify triggers, unhelpful behaviours and thought patterns that may affect your experience of pain and help you deal with the mental health issues that aggravate your experience of pain. You will learn physical and psychological strategies designed to alleviate your suffering. Your psychotherapist will assess whether you may benefit from the elements of psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

It is still unknown what causes CFS. Although there is no standardised treatment plan, because every individual experience the condition differently, your psychotherapist will assess your unique situation by asking questions about your family and medical history, onset, triggers, experience of CFS and any underlying or co-occurring mental health difficulties. Your psychotherapist will then propose a tailored treatment plan to include interventions that cover aspects of physiology and psychology. Your therapist will use the latest medical research in combination with interventions from cognitive behavioural therapy and psychoanalytic therapy.

Body dysmorphic disorder

The condition is characterised by the excessive focus on the appearance to the point of devaluing other qualities within yourself. There is a high degree of anxiety about the perception of oneself by other people. The individual might be trapped by excessively high standards and skewed self-image, which often results in depression or avoidance. Body dysmorphia is typically recognized by the frequent seeking for services of plastic surgent, day-long beauty regimes, preoccupation with the mirror and minor blemishes or seeking reassurance from others. There usually are deeper reasons for such self-objectification, for example, low self-esteem, excessive criticism in early life, past trauma or doubts about own lovability. You may have noticed that your quality of life is affected by your worries, you struggle to meet deadlines due to excessive time spent worrying about your appearance or you feel depressed and that is to do with your looks. With the help of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, your psychotherapist can help you to explore deep origins of your problem as well as solutions to those. With the help of cognitive behavioural psychotherapy, you will gradually learn to tolerate your distress as well as your perceived flaws. You will learn to devise experiments to find out whether your assumptions about perception of other people are correct, reduce avoidance of public places. In therapy, you will practice skills necessary for reduction of anxiety associated with your body.

Self-harm

Self-harm can take many forms. It includes direct self-harm, such as cutting, burning, hitting, piercing, inserting objects under the skin or scratching yourself, pulling own hair or other serious physical self-injury, and indirect self-harm where one neglects to look after themselves, puts themselves in dangerous or risky situations, indulges in unhelpful eating, drinking or drug habits, acting provocatively towards other people, engaging in activities that make you feel worse about yourself or life.

Self-harm does not only limit itself to physical injury. Emotional self-harm is not less destructive and can be perpetuated though inner criticism, remaining in abusive or unhealthy relationships, undermining oneself or paying attention only to negative sides of the self and life.

Self-harm provides powerful relief from difficult feelings, due to triggering endorphin release in a brain. This makes the person feel calm and safe. The act of self-harm often points to a more serious problem with emotional regulation. It is when other coping strategies for calming feelings are not available, the individual resorts to self-harm. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is found to be the most effective means of exploring reasons for self-harm. Your therapist will encourage you to slowly build trusting connection where you can feel safe to open up and share your difficulties. You will then be gently guided towards learning more about what feelings are and what do they mean. You will learn alternative ways you could tolerate your feelings and engage in more helpful behaviours. You will be able to observe the way your therapist models containing their feelings and encouraged to practice in sessions.