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Thesis

Alexithymia: Current understanding of treatment interventions

16 April 1999

Abstract

Alexithymia, the inability to differentiate or express emotions, is generally conceptualized as either physiological or psychodynamic in origin. Recently, attention has been given to normative male alexithymia (NMA), a form of alexithymia thought to be common in men. This thesis reviews the literature describing interventions for alexithymia in order to identify effective treatment. Overall, the treatment approaches noted in the literature are informed by etiological theories. While many treatments have been recommended for alexithymia in general, only one treatment is described for NMA. Reports of outcome effectiveness are generally based on anecdotal information, and empirical research is lacking. Research is recommended to determine the effectiveness of available treatments, and to identify alternative therapy approaches if needed.


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