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Rangell, L. (2000). Discussion. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 9(2):235-242.

(2000). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 9(2):235-242


Leo Rangell, M.D.

By serendipity, a sudden spate of interest has appeared in the psychoanalytic literature at the current moment on mind-body relationships. Adair, in the paper under present discussion, noted a version of this lag specifically in connection with conversion, from Freud's contributions in the early part of the century until the 1950s, which Adair attributes to Freud's own discouragement about the intricate details of the conversion process. Recent comments in the lively analytic e-mail exchanges (by Coleman, Dahl, Gifford, Gray, Gross, Hoffman, Lothane, Poster, and others around May 1999), which are an indicator of general psychoanalytic opinion, have registered a similar awareness of a lack of interest or new contributions with regard to psychosomatic medicine in general, so prominent in the days of Franz Alexander and Flanders Dunbar in midcentury, or George Engel somewhat later. Brenner (1999) has recently commented on the fusion of the organic and the psychological, that they always occur together. And when I (1999) had my attention drawn to this as the discussant of Brenner's paper, I was moved to resurrect a paper I wrote on the subject about seventeen years ago, on leaps and continuities between the mind and the body, which is published in the present issue of this Journal (see pp. 173-200).

In this brief paper, I am limiting myself, and fulfilling a request of the Editors, to a discussion of Adair's contribution on conversion.

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