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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 21 (1979) 11, 19 - 23

Short report

Psychotherapeutische benadering van epilepsie-cliënten

T. Baart

T. Baart: Psychotherapeutic approach of patients with epilepsy
Thusfar it has been rather unusual to treat patients with epilepsy with psychotherapy. The cerebral organic characteristics of the illness do not inspire such an approach. Stilt, as a rule the patient and his surroundings know very welt that tension may provoke attacks. When they occur they are usually treated with medicine, which is justified because in a number of cases the patient's life is in danger.
The psychotherapeutic approach too cannot be effective without pharmacological aid, but it is tried to minimalize the amount of drugs. This treatment mobilizes mental possibilities in order to create inner balance and freedom, strengthening the handling of normal adult tasks in life, and to shift the illness to the perifery of the patient's existence. The realization of this ambitious programme is often only in part successful. It requires much time and a great deal of intuition, commitment and patience of the therapist treating the non-javis clients which populate our institute and polsocs.
The approach of the writer is psychodynamic; the psychoanalytic personality model developed by Freud and his epigons, in her experience is quite useful in tackling the tension provoking problems of patients with epilepsy.