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Psychother Psychosom. 1994;62(1-2):96-107.

Inpatient and outpatient long-term psychotherapy of patients suffering from factitious disorders.

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Burg-Klinik, Stadtlengsfeld, Deutschland, Germany.


A favorable therapeutic course is achieved by the combination of an initial clinical psychotherapy and a subsequent analytical long-term treatment implemented as an outpatient therapy or an interval therapy. This form of therapy was offered to all of the patients and was accepted by half of the patient collective, i.e., by 12 out of 24. Only in 1 of these 12 cases, was it possible to dispense with the initial clinical therapy in favor of a primary outpatient therapy. Of these 12 therapies, 2 were terminated by the patients. We were able to continue the other 10 for longer periods, extending up to 4 years. In this setting, a transition from the working phase to the separation phase is possible around the fourth year of therapy. Termination of therapy is almost always based on a negative therapeutic reaction. The patients were generally capable of development, but were not able to take advantage of this opportunity because of the dominance of malignant introjects. In several cases, this pattern has become consolidated on a social as well as an endopsychic level. The therapy is then terminated in favor of a structured mother-child relationship or a similarly structured marriage. In those cases where the therapy was broken off prematurely, the establishment of a sufficiently stable working relationship was prevented by the predominantly negative transference. As a result, it was not possible to conduct a follow-up therapy after the normal end of the clinical psychotherapy, for example. The question remains whether a significant lengthening of the clinical psychotherapy could have changed anything here; in my opinion, this is not the case. In these cases, the inpatient therapy was always terminated by the patients, either by a directly expressed wish or by a symptomatic development making referral or discharge imperative. The 10 cases undergoing long-term therapy all progressed favorably, with a significant, or at least marked, improvement of the symptomatology and the relationship capability. In this context, the results are, in each case, a function of the severity of the illness, the individual capability for growth, and the length of treatment. Even though 6 of the 10 long-term therapies are now in the separation phase, none of them has been finally ended yet. As a result, we have only a small amount of information so far on the possibilities for reaching a final conclusion of the therapy.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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