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Am J Psychother. 1991 Jul;45(3):335-47.

Short-term strategic treatment in traumatic conversion reactions.

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Department of Psychiatry, Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel.


The therapists applied the strategic approach in four cases that demonstrate a variety of traumatic and conversion reactions. The therapists accepted the definition of the problem as presented by the patients or their families at the overt level, and were able to treat the conversion symptoms. At the latent level, however, there were additional system-focused goals. In the first stage, the therapists strove to understand the inner world and cultural background of their patients, their dynamics and the circumstances surrounding the event that led to the conversion reaction, or the traumatic significance of the event when it was a posttraumatic conversion. It was then possible to develop a strategy for treatment and to decide which treatment techniques were appropriate. The therapists created situations that encouraged change and pushed the patients to abandon the symptom. This therapy model is composed of behavioral and paradoxical techniques based on the understanding of the dynamic material and cultural content.

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