Psychotherapy Out of Bounds

PSYCHOTHERAPY Out of Bounds, continued
Terry learned rather slowly to increase both his SMR production and his GSR baseline. But he hung in there. At first he reported a declining rate of epileptic seizures. Then his mood started to lift. As treatment continued, his limp pretty well vanished, and Felicity noticed that he was using his right hand to do some simple tasks. Quite suddenly he found he could read as he had before the accident. Even more, his spelling suddenly improved. Then he began to write with his right hand so that, by the end of the treatment, he was writing about as smoothly with his right hand as he had learned to write with his left.
What brought about these changes? Again, who knows? It would be nice to think that the treatment served as a test of the revision of the Mass Action Hypothesis which was offered. However, it is possible that the damage to Terry’s brain did not account for the impairments of his functioning or for his epilepsy. Although this seems unlikely, it is possible that his epilepsy and his impairments were due to functional (psychological) ways of dealing with anxiety traumatically conditioned in the accident. If this had been true, then the use of anxiety desensitization (with SCARS) may have corrected the anxiety and thus removed the symptoms created by the anxiety. And, of course, this is mentioned really only to suggest that there may have been any number of other unknown reasons why this simple pair of procedures were followed by such radical changes in Terry’s functioning and behaviour.
Still, in terms of the conventions of science, if a treatment is introduced under a given hypothesis, and if the treatment does as it was hypothesized to do, the hypothesis on the basis of which the treatment was undertaken is afforded increased credibility or validity over other possible hypotheses. It may just be that some symptomatic consequences (mal-functioning or impairment of functioning) of some, even irreversible, brain damage may be modifiable or reversible given appropriate treatment procedures.
Still, who knows what happened or, for that matter, what is possible? Felicity doesn’t. Perhaps due to his normally semi-conscious state, Felicity believes in the unconscious mind which, however, he designates as the, almost limitless, ‘realm of the possible’.

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