Eddie was 26 years old, he is one of two brothers, living at home with parents, and he works full time.
He was referred to the symptoms group by his GP, and attended 11 of the 12 sessions. He seemed to be very committed (he missed one session because he had flu).
The most prominent symptoms that Eddie was aware of were concerned with his eyes. In his description he saw bright white light, he had static vision and had vision blink. He suffered this for more than a year in which he had undertaken almost all of the medical tests available but nothing was found.
He was given medication to attend to his pain. Eddie was worried that he might have some incurable illness or the start of some psychological impairment. He continued to be affected by these symptoms, he went to work but his condition prevented him doing sports or to see people. He became depressed and socially isolated. He was preoccupied that his eye sight would diminish and that he might have something more serious.
Eddie seemed to have very little to say since his first individual pre-group meeting with the facilitator and in each session, his answers were concise. Everything was matter of fact. Inquiring in to his feelings and emotion was difficult. He seemed to have no words for feelings and he often said that he didn’t know what I meant and saying “I don’t feel anything”.
The group welcomed him warmly. He experimented with the various activities which he called “strange things”. He listened to the others and although he didn’t seem to be able to empathise, he seemed attentive and interested. Eddie said that he was not expecting anything from this group, he had never done anything like it and he was curious. Eddie was a good listener and the group offered him an opportunity to learn from others. Eddie was taken into consideration by other group members and given attention.
Eddie seemed to relax in the group; in one session E told the group that he had joined a fencing group and that he enjoyed it. Eddie was invited to show the group the fencing technique, and he used it for his improvised movement. It looked like a dance. It was a great pleasure to see Eddie looking at ease and free in his body. After a little while he was teaching the group the fencing movement, he was offering something to the group for the first time. Although everyone was overjoyed he remained undemonstrative but in his own way pleased. Towards the end and after the group Eddie hardly mentioned his symptoms again and did not return to his GP with them. He appeared renewed in confidence and far less preoccupied with his eyes.