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Psychological treatment in medical practice 

Psychological treatment in medical practice
Chapter:
Psychological treatment in medical practice
Author(s):

Michael Sharpe

and Simon Wessely

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199204854.003.260602
Page of

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date: 18 October 2017

Patients have minds as well as bodies, and medical treatment must often address both if it is to be effective.

Psychological treatments—these may be divided into general and specialist types. All medical consultations have an important and inescapable psychological effect, hence all physicians are general psychotherapists. All medical consultations have the potential for both psychological help and for harm. Helpful consultations educate the patient, reassure them, and achieve adherence to treatment. Harmful consultations leave the patient confused or with inaccurate ideas about their health, increase anxiety, and make adherence to the physician’s treatment less likely. Being able to deliver a psychologically helpful consultation is therefore a core medical skill....

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