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Deutsch, F. (1933). Studies in Pathogenesis: Biological and Psychological Aspects. Psychoanal Q., 2:225-243.

(1933). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 2:225-243

Studies in Pathogenesis: Biological and Psychological Aspects

Felix Deutsch

In a private discussion, Freud recently remarked that analytical work must be carried on with redoubled energy, now that biological medicine is treading on the heels of psychoanalysis. There is apparently good reason for attempting to outline what has been achieved during the last decade in the borderland between these two provinces of research, which are so close together and yet in some ways so far apart. I say "during the last decade", for it is now more than ten years since I broached the topic of Organic processes and Psychoanalytical Happenings in Man. The initiative had already been taken in certain essays and lectures which then were deemed revolutionary, those of Groddeck, who believed that he had discovered an analytically explicable process at work in organic diseases no less than in mental disturbances, and who at that time actually proposed to refer the origin of organic illness in general to psychic processes. I should also, in this connection, refer to the important writings of Smith Ely Jelliffe. Although such contentions aroused incredulity even in analytical circles, it was not entirely warranted, since psychoanalysis had itself originated in the study of phenomena that were regarded as organic diseases, though not in the purely materialistic sense. I refer to the symptoms of conversion hysteria. Still, in apology for the reluctance with which such views found acceptance, I may point out that the medical thought of those days was concentrated upon the distinction between functional and organic disorders, a distinction which had up till then been the only possible way of maintaining the severance between neurotic and organic changes.

Ferenczi's writings on the pathoneuroses, on the phenomena of materialization, and on the erogeneity of the organs, had paved the way for the diffusion of Groddeck's views.

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