Author(s): Sllner W, Schssler G
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Abstract Psychoanalysis has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of somatoform pain disorder; however, psychodynamic therapy procedures have not been accorded their due recognition in the treatment of chronic pain. This is due to the inadequate differential indication for the employment of psychodynamic treatment methods, on the one hand, and to the refusal of most of the psychoanalysts to modify the standard psychoanalytic procedures in accordance with the requirements of pain treatment. This article reviews evidence of the modification of psychodynamic therapy procedures and their outcome in chronic pain patients in the context of past research. We conducted a systematic computer-based literature research employing MEDLINE, EVIDENCE BASED MEDICINE, and PSYNDEX data-bases between 1980 and 2000. Psychodynamic therapy procedures are indicated in the first instance for patients with psychic co-morbidity and those with somatoform pain disorder. A modification of the psychotherapeutic technique, involving an approach that is more structured and is also rather supportive at least at the beginning, is necessary. While employing psychodynamic methods in the treatment of pain patients, greater importance should be attached to the physical level and to the 'holding function' of the therapist than is usually the case with the conventional psychoanalytic therapy procedures.
This article was published in Z Psychosom Med Psychother
and referenced in Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy