How We Categorize TMS Practitioners
We divide providers into four categories in this list:
- Physicians: This category includes both Medical Doctors and Doctors of Osteopathy.
- Psychotherapists: This is a large category, including people with a wide range of different qualifications. Unlike with doctors, who have relatively homogeneous training, the training that different therapists have can be quite varied, so we encourage you to investigate this when choosing a therapist. In the United States, our classification of therapist requires a practitioner have a valid state license that requires at least a master's degree. Similar standards apply in other countries. Also see the essay on Choosing a TMS Therapist contributed by Hasanna Fletcher.
- ISTDP Therapists: ISTDP is a form of therapy very similar to TMS/PPD. These practitioners understand that stress, anxiety, and personality disorders can cause or exacerbate physical symptoms. Much like PPD therapists, these practitioners treat chronic pain by addressing the underlying psychological factors causing the symptoms. These therapists are highly trained and qualified, however they may not have a high familiarity with PPD terminology and the work of Dr. Sarno. This is something that we are, however, seeking to change. Further, Dr. Sarno's most trusted psychotherapist, Arlene Feinblatt, has utilized ISTDP. For more on this read Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy and ISTDP and Medically Unexplained Symptoms.
- Physical Therapists/Physiotherapists: According to the American Physical Therapy Association, "Physical therapists (PTs) are movement experts who optimize quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education. Physical therapists teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so that they will achieve long-term health benefits." With recent advances in pain science, more physical therapists are beginning to focus on chronic pain. Some even take a TMS approach.
- Additional Practitioners: If someone offers services to people overcoming TMS but doesn't fit in the above categories, we place them on this page.
The categories are chosen in this manner because more than 90% of the practitioners in the list fit into either the "physicians" or "therapists" category. By making the criteria for membership in those two categories quite strict, our goal is to make them as informative as possible (though the reader must still, of course, verify the information before engaging anyone for professional services). The "other" category is not meant in anyway to disparage the individual in question. Rather it means that the practitioner doesn't fit in our simple categories, so the reader must do a little more investigation to learn about their qualifications.
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