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Müller-Braunschweig, H. (1998). The Effects of Body-Related Psychotherapy in Psychosomatic Illnesses. Psychoanal. Inq., 18(3):424-444.

(1998). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 18(3):424-444

The Effects of Body-Related Psychotherapy in Psychosomatic Illnesses

Hans Müller-Braunschweig, Ph.D.

There are a large number of body-related psychotherapeutic methods. of which only some can be mentioned in this article. These methods have already been tried and tested in the treatment of patients with psychosomatic diseases and which have a certain theoretical basis. To a certain extent, there are also empirical findings on their clinical effectiveness. Some of the procedures, such as bioenergetics, for example, have arisen from psychoanalysis, and merge into “analytical body therapy” (Geissler, 1995), which is in the process of being developed. Although they exist in their own right, the method of thinking in others is very strongly influenced by psychoanalysis (concentrative kinetotherapy). Sometimes their effectiveness can be even better understood by using analytical categories, for example, functional relaxation (Funktionelle Entspannung).

After introductory remarks, functional relaxation, whose effect in psychosomatic illnesses can be especially well presented because of the method of working close to the body, will then be introduced. A description of the other methods follows.

When is it appropriate to use a body-related method of psychotherapy? Empirical studies are still quite rare, but there are several years of clinical experience.

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