An exploration of functional neurological sensory disorders from a psychotherapeutic perspective; Symptom causation and potential implications for the therapeutic relationship

No Thumbnail Available
Kirwan, Jennifer
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
Items in Esource are protected by copyright. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/copyright holder.
Functional Neurological Sensory Disorders (FNSDs) are one of the most common presentations in outpatient neurology clinics and FNSDs are associated with considerable disability and healthcare cost. Despite its prevalence, there are still misconceptions amongst healthcare professionals regarding etiological theories of FNSDs, which results in widespread public stigma of the people who live with the condition. In this theoretical dissertation, the literature surrounding etiological theories is examined and a case is put forward for the integration and use of biological, psychological and social models by psychotherapists. The literature is also explored to examine potential implications for the establishment of a successful psychotherapeutic alliance when a person has a diagnosis of Functional Neurological Symptom Disorder (FNSD). In the absence of research, the concepts of bias, stigma, transference and counter-transference are explored. Unique points to consider in the psychotherapeutic assessment and treatment of a person with a diagnosis of FNSD are raised, and suggestions for future directions of research are put forward.