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Physical Symptomatology

Physical symptoms can also be a(n) (indirect and unconscious) form of expressing oneself. This correlation, however, is to be treated with caution. These ways of circumvention and monocausal connections (e.g. “This illness means this or that psychological issue!”) are more likely to be presumptuous and dysfunctional diagnostics on the side of the counsellor than a helpful support for the client. Nevertheless, this often happens. From a metatheory viewpoint this is inappropriate, because it establishes and asserts an unambiguousness, which does not do justice to the over-determination and complexity of systems. Nevertheless, together with the client, one can explore if and what he might be expressing with the migraine, the stomach problem, the high blood pressure etc. Such an explorative exercise is supported by the mindset: the physical symptom says something about you, which can be discovered, and it is a response to the context in which you are or were. With this approach, the symptomatology potentially becomes helpful in order to arrive at a plausible understanding and affirming the symptom instead of fighting it.

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