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Mind-Body & Somatic Disorders

Improving Symptoms by Resolving Conflicts and Understanding Emotions

Fatigued. Pained. Frustrated. Restricted.

You can’t even visualize what it would mean to you if your unexplained, unexpected body symptoms were resolved. If your health fears were improved.

In the meantime, you trudge through life, feeling limited and worried by symptoms that have not been sufficiently relieved by physical medicine alone.

Unusual body symptoms  and health fears hinder your life, paralyze you with anxiety, or cause problems between you and others.

You feel lonely in your symptoms, and frustrated. Embarrassed, hurt, or angered when you know what your body feels but others do not seem to agree or understand. When doctors finally recommend you look into emotional help, you might feel insulted, brushed off, or not taken seriously.

However, you might be ready to try new things to improve your symptoms.

You might question:

  • Why don’t others believe or fully ‘get’ what I feel in my body?
  • If my problem is partly emotional, am I just weak?
  • Can anyone help me emotionally while still taking my symptoms seriously?
  • If my problem is partly emotional, why don’t I feel that way?
  • I’m interested in therapy but how can the mind affect the body that much?

When you have fearful beliefs about expressing or experiencing emotional distress, it can seem unsafe to even think about it. But if you do not, you avoid exploring a potentially critical link in the vicious circle of unexplained and stress-related physical symptoms.

With an understanding helper, you can realize something important:

Unexplained physical symptoms and health fearsare not a mark of ‘badness’, ‘weakness’, or ‘not knowing enough health information’.

Instead, the symptoms need to be understood in full context before they can be gradually released.

Why do some body symptoms and fears persist even after much effort?

First, mind-body symptoms can result from too much anxiety about an internal conflict, relationship conflict, or life events. 

Second, it can help to get better at ‘thinking about’ emotions, so they don’t have to be expressed through the body so strongly.

In either case, it can feel safer (less unknown) to keep trying to manipulate or worry about the physical body like a foreign object, an ‘it’ that you possess. That approach feels rational and sensible. It should be thoroughly tried, for sure. However, the problem here might be irrational (emotional, automatically reactive).

How therapy is helpful for mind-body, health anxiety, and somatic disorders

I have a special interest in body symptoms that are unexplained by any known issue with body structure or composition. That said, I am always open to medical solutions. Either way, your therapy can help by learning to ‘own’ your emotions and conflicts, even the ones maybe you were not fully aware of. 

Then we work to find an unrecognized ‘point of similarity’. The point of similarity connects your current symptoms and situation, with past / other desires, emotions, and situations. Such connections use a different logic than the rational thinking you are usually aware of. 

So, you need a translating helper–but one who is open to feedback. Having that allows you to more freely express emotions, desires, and anxieties that relate to that point of similarity. 

The process and ending of therapy: reestablished function, hope, and freedom

In the therapy process, your self-knowledge and self-reassurance grow. Outside therapy, you start directly dealing with conflicts and owning feelings more quickly and thoroughly. Eventually, some mind-body symptoms become less necessary to have.

You have consciously owned them as an old effort to cope with difficult things, or have learned to communicate emotions without worries and body symptoms.

It becomes easier to contact your body mindfully and recognize the mind might be involved. That helps protect you from further problems.

There is less struggle, less feeling misunderstood. Relationships benefit. You begin new pursuits and restart old activities.

You can resolve the worry that unusual or stress-related symptoms will take over.

If you have been examined by physical medicine practitioners and your symptoms are truly unsolved, and you are open to the ideas here, I would be glad to help.

I know it is a major shift from seeing the body as a machine disconnected from the mind, to seeing the two as interrelated. I appreciate how hard it can be to enter an uncertain position. Therefore, I conduct this work in a way that respects that.

Click below to schedule a consultation or call me directly at 909-766-2221.