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Written on the body: Why the Conversational Model is particularly helpful for people with persistent physical symptoms

Professor Else Guthrie

The Conversational Model of Therapy (CM) has been used in several randomised controlled trials to treat people with persistent physical symptoms including: irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, multi-somatoform disorder and non-epileptiform attack disorder. The model is particularly suited to helping people with physical symptoms because of its focus on 'experience' as opposed to a mind-body split.

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Else Guthrie
Else Guthrie
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Professor Else Guthrie

Professor Else Guthrie is a Consultant and Honorary Professor of Psychological Medicine working in the Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust at Manchester Royal Infirmary, UK.

Professor Guthrie is a former Chair of the Faculty of Liaison Psychiatry, Royal College of Psychiatrists and a former UK Vice President of the Society for Psychotherapy Research. She is a past Programme Director of the North West Higher Training Scheme in General Psychiatry and is currently Chair of the Research Committee of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Professor Guthrie is particularly interested in research which focuses on the relationship between emotional factors, depression and physical symptoms. She is also interested in psychological therapies and has conducted a series of randomised controlled trials to test the effectiveness of psychological treatment in people with co-existing physical and psychological ill health problems. She has shown that psychological treatments can be both efficacious but also cost-effectiveness if targeted appropriately at those patients in most need of help. She has also recently demonstrated the effectiveness of brief psychotherapy for people who self-harm.

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