Functional Neurological Disorder Course

Psychological component of FND course


At Head to Toe Clinical Psychology we are enthusiastic about improving awareness and understanding of Functional Neurological Disorder (FND).


In 2021 we contributed to the development of a course about FND for Allied Health Professionals in collaboration with the Advanced Rehabilitation Centre (ARC). The course is aimed at improving treatment approaches for people with FND within a biopsychosocial framework and involving a multi-disciplinary team.


Dr Freya Smith and Margie McCaskill produced a module about the role of psychology in allied health approaches that assist people to manage FND, and how psychological therapy can be useful.

How do psychological strategies assist allied health professionals?


People with FND can become overwhelmed during treatment sessions with allied health professionals. Physiotherapists and occupational therapists are skilled at helping people to manage physical symptoms and stressors. Using psychological strategies can provide an anchor for regulating the nervous system during difficult discussions or exercises in these sessions.

How does psychological therapy help people with FND?


For some people with FND it is helpful to involve a psychologist as part of the allied health team. This is likely to result in better treatment outcomes when a person is experiencing distress associated with their diagnosis or other emotional difficulties.


Sessions with a psychologist will involve: education about FND symptoms, strategies for identifying signs of an FND episode and regulation techniques, coping with FND symptoms and building confidence to engage in your usual activities of life, managing anxiety or mood associated with FND, and developing helpful thinking habits in responses to FND symptoms. There are many other important aspects of an FND diagnosis that a psychologist may be able to assist with but these vary significantly from person to person.


Follow this link for more information about how psychological therapy is helpful for people with FND:

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