Rehabilitation: Amelioration of suffering and adjustment

  • MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital
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... As I have explored in previous works (Appel, 2003(Appel, , 2017 lasting medical illness and traumatic bodily injury will be inextricably bound up with suffering as an emotional state. Medical illness or injury often wound the self and may threaten psychological integrity or cause narcissistic injury. ...
... One may need to help the patient identify with a more transcendent self, to find an identity that is not just physical. In part this can also be facilitated by learning the skill of Disidentification (Appel, 2017(Appel, , 2014; see Appendix A) "which can help the patient identify with a self that is beyond narrative, to identify with the narrator who has yet to tell a story; to identify with a self that is center of awareness, a center of consciousness that is not identified with the contents of consciousness. In other words, identifying with the experiencer, not the experience, not thoughts, not emotions, not sensations, not impulses, but s/he who is aware of all this" (Appel, 2017, p. 403). ...
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This article addresses the prevalence of posttraumatic stress arising from serious illness and injury. Its purpose is to underscore the importance of assessment and treatment of this population. The article reviews literature about patient stress responses to intensive care experiences and hospitalization. Above all, serious illness and injury hamper the individual's ability to maintain their ongoing lifestyle and interpersonal relationships; the experience raises the specter of vulnerability and mortality and can obstruct the experience of a familiar "self". Issues to be assessed and areas to be addressed therapeutically using hypnosis are suggested.
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