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Therapeutic processes and personalised care in body oriented psychological therapy for patients with Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS)

Nina Papadopoulos, Claire Burrell, Layla Smith, Frank Röhricht


Background: Body oriented psychological therapy (BOPT) for patients with MUS is a new and innovative intervention offering patients an alternative way to engage with and manage their MUS symptoms as well as their emotional responses. Methods: This paper is a qualitative report on a pilot study which took place in a primary care setting. Patients were offered 10 weekly sessions of BOPT in small groups.

Results: The qualitative findings suggest that (i) patients responded well to this treatment approach, (ii) they experienced their bodily realities in a more positive way and not just as a source of negativity or pain, (iii) they learnt to manage their symptoms more effectively and (iv) they began to understand the relationship between their bodily symptoms and their emotional state as well as the impact of the one on the other including very poignant themes such as loss and dislocation.

Conclusion: BOPT is a useful therapeutic approach in the person-centered care of MUS.


Body-oriented psychological therapy (BOPT), coping tools, healthcare costs, Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS), patient preferences, person-centered healthcare

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