Cognitive behavioural therapy for psychogenic non-epileptic seizures in the context of mild intellectual disability: a case study

Peter Robert Diamond, Claire Delaney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: There is a growing evidence base for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as a treatment for psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) in the general population. Despite the relatively high proportion of individuals with PNES who have an intellectual disability (ID) there is a paucity of literature on the use of CBT for PNES in this population. The purpose of this paper is to describe the use of an adapted CBT approach to treat PNES in a woman with mild ID. Design/methodology/approach: The intervention used a CBT approach that included both the client and her mother, her primary care giver, throughout the therapy sessions. It involved 13 1-hour sessions over 20 weeks. Findings: Over the course of the intervention the client experienced a reduction in seizure activity. Both the client and her mother reported increases in her perceived ability to cope with the seizures. Originality/value: This report describes an adapted CBT-based intervention for individuals with PNES in the context of ID. It is the first report to include the involvement of a care-giver in adapting this approach for individuals with ID.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Dissociative Seizures
  • Intellectual disability
  • Learning disability
  • Non-epileptic attack disorder
  • Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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