The treatment of conversion disorders from a psychotherapeutic perspecitve

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Lennon, Elizabeth
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this dissertation is to explore conversion disorders from a psychotherapeutic perspective. This will involve the two discourses of psychiatry and psychoanalysis. The objective of this research is to give the reader a comprehensive understanding of the aetiology and treatment of conversion disorders. There will be an introduction to some of the key historical figures who have studied conversion disorders which was formerly known as hysteria. The scope of this research has largely involved the works of Freud and Breuer, particularly their Studies on Hysteria. Additional theorists have been used to illustrate their views regarding the genesis and subsequent manifestation of conversion disorders. This dissertation has been a desk-based endeavour with the findings of the research having opened the author's mind up to the existence of male conversion disorders and their potential gain. The previous belief being that these disorders were largely attributed to women. The principal conclusion that the author has arrived at is based on the belief of Freud and Breuer (1895) that conversion disorders do indeed serve a purpose! Author keywords: Conversion disorder, hysteria, somatic