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Installment 12 of a series on case analysis

© Will Taylor, MD 2001 (bio)

The Story Board

Sections: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Section 4

A Second Refinement of the Sketch - dimensions of a complete symptom

In previous installments I've discussed the Characterizing Dimensions of a complete symptom; both for physical symptoms, according to Boenninghausen:

Hering's 4 quadrant diagram

and for symptoms in the mental/emotional realm:

Mental emotional diagram
 

The stages of Compensaton/Decompensation of symptoms in the mental/emotional realm may also offer an interesting sketch of the Totality:

compensations diagram

In some cases, it may be useful to begin to organize the material on your Story Board according to these categories. Keep in mind though, that a case is like a coconut - not all coconuts are the same, and you might need to roll one around a bit before you know where it will crack. Allow the case to impose itself on your skills, rather than imposing your notions of structure on a case.

An alternate way of attending to the dimensions of a complete symptom, is to color-code symptoms on your evolving list. A green 'L' next to localities, a red 'S' next to sensations, a blue 'M' next to modalities, etc. can assist in examining your case for completeness, as well as for later stages of symptom-organization.

Below is an example of a case organized according the characterizing dimensions of its somatic symptoms:

Headache case diagram

And one organized according to the dimensions of mental/emotional compensation:

Anac. case diagram

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