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Kairys, D. (1949). Patología Psicosmática: Edited by Arnaldo Rascovsky, M.D. Buenos Aires: Asociación Psicoanalítica Argentina, 1948. 768 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 18:98-100.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:98-100

Patología Psicosmática: Edited by Arnaldo Rascovsky, M.D. Buenos Aires: Asociación Psicoanalítica Argentina, 1948. 768 pp.

Review by:
David Kairys

This stout book is a collection of papers on psychosomatic diseases written by Argentine psychoanalysts and published by the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association. Most of the twenty-nine articles have previously appeared in Latin-American journals. The papers are grouped by organ-systems, with about a third of the book devoted to psychosomatic problems of the female reproductive tract.

In his introduction, Rascovsky urges closer collaboration between psychiatrists and 'organic' specialists, for the achievement of a fuller understanding of the rôle played by emotional conflicts in physical diseases. Apparently one of the purposes in publishing this work was precisely to further this sort of collaboration by introducing to the Spanish-speaking profession the current concepts of 'psychosomatic medicine'. With this end in view, the first article, also by Rascovsky, is a résumé of psychoanalytic theories of infantile sexuality and of the formation of the psychic apparatus, and includes some speculations on the interrelations between physical changes and psychosexual evolution in the child. Rascovsky tries, for instance, to connect certain changes in the adrenal cortex in the first years of life with the child's attempts to adapt to the trauma of birth. In relation to the concept of bisexuality, he advances the idea that the trends to 'activity' and 'passivity' in the female may be related, respectively, to the functions of progesterone and of the estrogens.

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