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Symptomatology is a derived term of symptom.

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Article by Bruni Brewin


As nouns the difference between symptomatology and symptom is that symptomatology is (uncountable) the science that studies the symptoms of diseases while symptom is (medicine) a perceived change in some function, sensation or appearance of a person that indicates a disease or disorder, such as fever, headache or rash.

Notice how both definitions relate to diseases. Who said that it had to be a disease or mental disorder?

It is of course helpful to know if the client is on medication, how long for, what for and are there any side effects they have noticed since taking it. If they are not on medication and they tell me that they suffer from something that might indicate a possible medical disorder, the normal questioning would be asked if they had been to a medical practitioner to have this checked out? If they haven't had it checked out I ask them to get that done to ensure myself there is no pathology causing the feelings and emotions they have come with.

As a hypnotherapist I deal with feelings and emotions, these are the labels that define a person’s need in therapy - not the label. Why do they have those feelings? What caused them? When did these feelings start? Have they had therapy for this previously?  If so, what has worked in previous therapy and what hasn't? If something had worked, why isn't it still working? Has something else happened recently that brought the feelings back again? (would that indicate that it wasn't released successfully in the first place?)

I read a research article where the author said that PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) is not a mental health disorder.  It is a disease of the memory.  It can't let go of the memory of what happened and so causes the same feelings as if it is still happening every day, even though it may have been a very long time ago.  I agree, except I wouldn't call it a disease of the memory, I would call it a dis-ease of the memory.

These things define how I put together a plan in my mind as how to deal with the clients issues. Not by any label that has been given by somebody else - which may be just a hypothetical guess that could be way off beam.

To give you an idea of what I mean, I had a visit from a client called Anna [not her real name], and as she came in the office she said to me; "I have just been diagnosed with Schizophrenia."  My warning bells sounded.  Even though I had dealt with clients when I worked in a trauma and pain management center for a psychiatrist, if anything went wrong, I could get him to come and assist.  It never did, however, it is not the sort of thing you would deal with in a private practice unless you were trained in the medical field to do so.  If anything goes wrong, I would be mincemeat on toast so to speak.

I was unprepared as the client had seen me at a previous time some years earlier.  Still I thought, as a counsellor I could help her without using hypnotherapy.  Still, I wasn't prepared for what happened and in hindsight was very grateful that I had been in practice for a long time.  I wondered in hindsight how I would have managed otherwise.   As I was showing Anna a one sheet paper on which I had put an explanation of the Parent, Adult and Child Ego states that we all have within us, she had a Dissasociated Identity Disorder [DID/MPD] episode in my office.  It all turned out fine, yet a good reminder that we should not ignore our warning bells which is our intuition telling us to be careful.

27 Jan 2016

Article/Information supplied by Bruni Brewin

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.