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Williams, H.G. (1934). Clinical: Franz Alexander. 'Functional Disturbances of Psychogenic Nature.' The Journal of the American Medical Association, 1933, Vol. 100, pp. 469–473.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 15:74-74.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Clinical: Franz Alexander. 'Functional Disturbances of Psychogenic Nature.' The Journal of the American Medical Association, 1933, Vol. 100, pp. 469–473.

(1934). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 15:74-74

Clinical: Franz Alexander. 'Functional Disturbances of Psychogenic Nature.' The Journal of the American Medical Association, 1933, Vol. 100, pp. 469–473.

H. G. Williams

This paper was read at a meeting of psychoneurologists in America. One of Dr. Alexander's objects was to plead for more critical and scientific thinking, in regard to organic symptoms due to psychomotor action. He points out that psycho-analysis can supply as precise a description of psychic mechanisms as pathology can of the physiological changes which may result.

He says that a 'functional disturbance' differs from a psycho-physiological process, in the incompleteness of its expression of unconscious emotion and relief of tension. In several cases of functional stomach troubles he has been able to distinguish specific tendencies closely related to those functions. Repressed claims of a receptive nature, i.e. to be loved, to be fed, give rise to a chronic unconscious psychic stimulus to the stomach through the autonomic nervous system, causing hypersecretion and hypermotility which may result in organic changes such as peptic ulcer.

In conclusion he emphasizes the specific nature of unconscious factors, and the tendency of unconscious processes to find bodily expression through the autonomic nervous system. Finally he compares the deviation of a psychodynamic quantity from somatic to autonomic discharge, to a political revolution following a military defeat.

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Article Citation

Williams, H.G. (1934). Clinical. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 15:74-74

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