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Wisdom, J.O. (1966). Psychosomatic Research: A Collection of Papers. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 47:585-588.

(1966). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 47:585-588

Psychosomatic Research: A Collection of Papers

Review by:
J. O. Wisdom

By J. J. Groen et al. (Oxford: Pergamon, 1964. Pp. x 318. 80s.)

Research in Psychodiagnostics. By J. T. Barendregt and collaborators. (The Hague: Mouton, 1961. Pp. viii 221. No price given.)

Although it is widely known that Professor Groen has carried out and directed incomparable research in psychosomatic medicine, what exactly he has done is less well known because many of the important papers are difficult of access. His compilation of past work goes a long way towards remedying the position. It contains a number of the great pieces of research carried out by Groen's team, and the book will probably become ranked as a classic beside (if not above) the two most celebrated works in the field. Newer work done mainly by Professor Barendregt, who was Groen's psychologist, with the cooperation of the Director of the Dutch Institute of Psycho-Analysis, deals with research on significant problems both of psycho-analysis and of psychosomatic medicine. The research was very competently done and is almost unique in being carried out in accordance with the fundamental method of science.

The compilation covers the general problem of evidence for psychosomatic disorder. Groen describes what led him as a physician to become a psychosomatist and he gives a striking survey of the evidence. It ranges over the domain of asthma; and contains Dekker's celebrated work on the mechanism of the wheeze, and work done by means of groups by Pelser. There is also van der Valk's investigation of blood-pressure changes under stress, parallel to that of Hambling in England, which must count as one of the most striking pieces of research in the entire field.

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