Compassion-focused therapy for an older adult with motor functional neurological disorder: A case study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: Motor functional neurological disorder (mFND) is a condition where individuals may experience difficulties such as tremors, gait impairments, and paralysis which are not explained by identified structural damage to the brain. Studies on chronic conditions have suggested that psychological interventions such as compassion-focused therapy (CFT) may be effective in improving well-being in people with mFND. However, no evidence is currently available on psychotherapy for older people with mFND. Methods: A 12-session CFT intervention was delivered to an 81-year-old British male with mFND. Standardized measures were administered at baseline and post-intervention. Results: At post-intervention, a 30% decrease in perceived psychological impact of mFND was found, along with clinically significant changes in anxiety and depression. Good levels of feasibility and acceptability were also observed. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of the feasibility, acceptability, and potential effectiveness of CFT for psychological difficulties linked with mFND, as well as the first evidence for any psychotherapy with an older adult with mFND. Clinical Implications: CFT shows the potential to be effective, feasible, and acceptable for treating difficulties linked with mFND in older people. However, further high-quality investigations based on experimental designs are needed to build on the present preliminary findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-466
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Gerontologist
Issue number3
Early online date7 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • compassion-focused therapy
  • elderly
  • FND
  • functional motor disorder
  • Motor functional neurological disorder
  • older adults
  • psychotherapy

Cite this