Unfinished Business Syndrome (UBS)

‘I told a client that his complaints could be related to a number of unfinished life-matters he had also mentioned; he confirmed this and said: Indeed, I was thinking myself that it is time for me to take stock, which issues do I still need to address and which ones should I draw to a close, because I don’t want to carry this around with me any longer.'’

This summary of UBS advocates for re-newed and focused attention to old pain. UBS is presented here as a phenomenon whereby old pain maintains various current unexplained symptoms. (caused and maintained).

New in UBS is the way it explicitly names the gestalt of unadressed life-events (1), unexplained complaints (2), trigger-effect (3) and multiplier-effect (4), see figure. UBS becomes thereby an explanatory system for a widespread phenomenon, many people are suffering from and often not are helped properly. UBS is not seen as a medical syndrome, but more a description of the experience of people who suffer from old pains, some decades later. Also new is the difference between the type 1 UBS and type 2 UBS. People who experience type 1 UBS-complaints also called the stresstype of UBS, can be treated by social work.  People who experience type 2 UBS – also called the complicated type  of UBS – can be better treated by specialists. At last, new is the UBS-treatment including cleansing and finishing the old unfinished business, to create perspective in cases sometimes were stuck.

Figure UBS scheme:  
The negative UBS spiral with trigger effect and multiplier effect: triggered old pain works as a ‘multiplier’ for current and existing complaints.

Early recognition of the unfinished-business syndrome could offer perspective to a group of people who for some time have experienced suffering as a result of unexplained symptoms.

This perspective develops when they are still bringing closure to unfinished life events. Professionals, who wish to pay attention to UBS, will find a theoretical foundation and support for their caring and professional role.

In workshops and courses the 3 steps-UBS-approach can be presented and excercised.

More info: see Courses and Lectures


© H.J. de Mönnink, 2015