Psychotherapy Out of Bounds

PSYCHOTHERAPY Out of Bounds, continued
If one can simply train the muscles around an affected joint to relax, the lubricant and the growth hormone can get between the bone surfaces, lubricate them and stimulate bone surface growth for re-generation to occur. Of course, when the muscles relax, the reduced muscle tension and pressure on the joint surfaces reduces the pain experienced, and this helps reward the learning of muscle relaxation as well. At least that’s the theory.
It seemed clear to Felicity that Patrick needed some anxiety desensitization. First, he needed it to be rid of the anxiety traumatically-conditioned in his traffic accident. Second, he needed it to reduce the viscerally-projected anxiety and tension which might be keeping his ulcer going. And, third, he needed it to reduce the autonomic reactivity which might be keeping his hand muscles tense and the immune system trying to fight the supposed injury in the knuckles. But which kind of desensitization should be used? The visceral projection of tension (which did seem to be occurring according to his Rorschach) affecting the ulcer might suggest the use of the galvanic skin resistance (GSR) mediated method of stimulus conditioned autonomic response suppression (SCARS) which has been described elsewhere. However, the involvement of the skeletal-striate muscles in the arthritis might suggest Wolpe’s reciprocal inhibition therapy (RIT) method since it uses trained relaxation of the skeletal muscles. Felicity decided to go the latter route.

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