Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy for Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures
Evidence-based treatments for psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) remain limited with strongest evidence currently supporting cognitive behavioral therapy. Mindfulness-based psychotherapies (MBT) are effective in many neuropsychiatric disorders and given their transdiagnostic benefit and positive impact on emotional and cognitive functions, they are well-suited to treat PNES. A 12-session manualized treatment was developed to specifically address PNES. In an uncontrolled trial, the intervention demonstrated to reduce frequency and intensity of PNES by the end of treatment and at a 3-6 month follow-up, for those who completed the therapy protocol. Threatening view of the illness, worry about symptoms and feeling understood by the treatment team improved with treatment as well. MBT may hold promise as a treatment for PNES.
Potential to Distress No
This presentation was originally presented as a live webinar in January 2022.
Upon Completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:
- Describe overall mindfulness principles and how they apply to psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES)
- Discuss the structure of a manualized mindfulness-based treatment for PNES
- Review outcomes of the trial that evaluated efficacy of the intervention
Presenter: Gaston Baslet, M.D.
Presenter Biography: Dr. Baslet completed medical school in Buenos Aires, Argentina and his training in psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is board certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and in neuropsychiatry and behavioral Neurology by the United Council for Neurological Subspecialties. Dr. Baslet leads the division of neuropsychiatry and a clinical-research program on functional neurological disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and has conducted research on treatments to address functional seizures. He is actively involved in national and international professional organizations to improve understanding and develop treatments for neuropsychiatric conditions. He has published extensively on the topic of functional seizures, including peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and information for patients. He is also interested in the integration of neuroscience into medical education and is the director of medical student education at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Presenter: Lorna Myers, PhD
Presenter Biography: Dr. Lorna Myers is the director of the PNES Program at the Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group in New York and New Jersey. She is a clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist and has been working with PNES and epilepsy for nearly 20 years. She is the author of Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures: A Guide which is a handbook for patients and loved ones. This book has also been published in Spanish and Japanese. All royalties from sales of this book are donated to a charity (Epilepsy Alliance of America) that offers scholarships to children and adults living with epilepsy and PNES. Dr. Myers also manages a website called www.nonepilepticseizures.com and writes a monthly blog on PNES.
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