Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to Psychosomatics: psychosomatic disease



in the broad sense, a term used in medicine to designate an approach to the explanation of disease in which special attention is focused on the role of mental factors in the origin, course, and outcome of somatic disease.

Psychosomatics in the narrower sense, or psychosomatic medicine, is a branch of modern foreign medicine that has developed from the application of the theory and techniques of psychoanalysis to the interpretation and treatment of neuroses of organs and organic diseases. It has become widespread in the Netherlands, the Federal Republic of Germany, Switzerland, and other Western European countries and in the United States. According to proponents of psychosomatic medicine, about 50 percent of all organic diseases in the industrially developed countries are psychogenic. Not only hypertension, gastric ulcer, and hyperthyroidism are regarded as psychosomatic diseases, but also bronchial asthma, diabetes mellitus, glaucoma, and rheumatoid arthritis. Attempts were made to work out a system of correspondences between various organic diseases and specific character and personality traits (H. F. Dunbar, United States) and between various organic diseases and types of emotional conflicts (F. Alexander and the Chicago school).

Endocrine disturbances are believed to play a special role in the mechanism by which these diseases originate (somatize). The principal mode of therapy is psychotherapy, which seeks to uncover the links—unknown to the patient himself—between a person’s emotional conflicts and the development of somatic symptoms. The theoretical foundation of psychosomatics was influenced not only by psychoanalysis but by schools of 20th-century idealist philosophy, such as existentialism (L. Binswanger), and by 20th-century German philosophical anthropology, including the medical anthropology of V. Weizsäcker.


Alexander, F. Psychosomatische Medizin. Berlin, 1951.
Dunbar, H. F. Emotions and Bodily Changes, 4th ed. New York, 1954.
Weiss, E., and O. S. English. Psychosomatic Medicine, 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.-London, 1957.
Weizsäcker, V., and D. Wyss. Zwischen Medizin und Philosophic Göttingen, 1957.
Rattner, J. Psychosomatische Medizin heute. Zürich, 1964.


Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Freeman and her colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine report in the same issue of PSYCHOSOMATICS that one-third of 239 women with PMS or possible PMS improved considerably after six weeks of treatment that did not include hormone supplements.
Researchers of the study, published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, claim it is the first report showing an association between breast-feeding and the occurrence of depression later on in adulthood.
Almost 28 percent of the sample required a medical referral, report the investigators in the September PSYCHOSOMATICS.
The study has been published in the Journal of Psycho- therapy and Psychosomatics.
Richterich, of the department of psychosomatics in children and adolescents at University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany).
Unresolved grief" is associated with complaints of depression and a number of physical symptoms and "can be quite disabling," say psychiatrist Sidney Zisook and his co-workers in the June PSYCHOSOMATICS.
Shaw is the medical director of the hospital's psychiatric consultation-liaison program and first author of the research, published in the January/February issue of the journal Psychosomatics.
The clinic for psychiatry, Addiction, Psychotherapy and psychosomatics is located at klinikum am europakanal (kae) in erlangen.
In the systematic review, which appears in the November-December issue of the journal Psychosomatics, Brittany Poynter, M.
The study appears in the latest issue of the journal Psychosomatics.
The study, believed to be the first in-depth look at anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) use in women bodybuilders, is published in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.
description of the procurement: New clinic for psychosomatics and psychotherapy (kpp) vitos hochtaunus in bad homburg with 125 beds, 2 outpatient clinics and 1 day clinic.