Well, a basic principle of all inpatient treatment is rest and seclusion. (Although some places put their patients through constant groups, occupational therapy, exercise classes, etc., in my opinion that is mostly to maximize insurance compensation and not always in the best interest of the patient.) Taking patients out of their daily life and placing them in a safe. controlled environment is therapeutic in the majority of cases.
If a patient is genuinely delusional, they should never be confronted. This is never effective because of their genuine belief. You know that the sky is blue and that grass is green. If a psychiatrist insisted that the sky is orange and that grass is purple, you would never believe them, even if you eventually went along to appease them. Full delusions are generally only dispelled with medication.
Lily, however, is not psychotic. She is not necessarily simply malingering and lying, either. She has apparently confabulated a story for defensive reasons to conceal from herself (and others) a truth she cannot face. Memory is a dynamic, continuing process. I could cite many experiments that prove that the memory is anything but the pure recording device that it seems to be.
At least in this country, hypnotherapy is slightly disreputable. Often it is practiced by unlicensed laypersons who learned it off the internet or from a single course (probably on DVDs). I once went to a workshop to learn more about it (they certainly don't teach it in university clinical psychology doctorate programs), and the instructor, although approved by the Florida Psychology Board, was a complete charlatan. He could have been a stage hypnotist.
The reputation of clinical hypnosis probably hit rock bottom in this country during the craze to use it to retrieve repressed memories in the 1980s. When it was demonstrated how often the memories were demonstrably false or even implanted by suggestion of the hypnotist, the practice was abandoned almost entirely.
Freud abandoned hypnosis at the beginning of his career for free association techniques. Most American psychologists would agree. I feel that I would be able to help Lily abandon this defense and face the truth through the "talking cure," as Freud described it.
I have heard that hypnosis is regarded more highly and practiced more responsibly in other countries, but this is mostly an impression.
Message Thread | Skip to this response ↓
« Back to index