Have you ever felt pain in your chest, only to have doctors tell you they can’t find any physical cause? Or perhaps you’ve experienced recurring headaches or migraines that don’t respond to conventional medical treatments? These may be symptoms of underlying psychological issues that need to be addressed. Research has shown that one way to deal with such problems is through Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP).
A significant portion of emergency department visits, internal medicine visits, and medical specialist visits do not yield a medical explanation (i.e., a diagnosis that explains the root cause of the symptoms). People often leave their medical appointments with a diagnosis of “Chest pain”, or leave a primary care office with a diagnosis of “Fibromyalgia” or “Irritable Bowel Syndrome”, or what the medical profession has leballed a “Functional Disorder”. These diagnoses describe the symptoms, but do not help us understand the cause or the best treatment for the symptoms. Often, treatments are recommended, such as changes in diet, exercise, or medications, and these may reduce the symptoms. However, if emotional factors are the true cause or are a major contributor to the symptoms, those treatments will have only limited effects.