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Hoch, P.H. (1952). Psychosomatic Problems: Methodology, Research Material and Concepts. Psychoanal. Rev., 39(3):213-221.

(1952). Psychoanalytic Review, 39(3):213-221

Original Articles

Psychosomatic Problems: Methodology, Research Material and Concepts

Paul H. Hoch, M.D.

Psychosomatic medicine is to some a form of medical philosophy. To some it is a conjoint research approach, and to others the application of psychoanalytic principles and methods in certain forms of somatic sickness. Its popularity, however, does not rest with any of these tenets but with its claim that it is able to treat and to cure a certain group of disorders which formerly did not yield to a pure somatic approach of treatment.

Due to the intensive research in this field, we believe it is an established fact that emotional factors play a role in the causation of many organic disorders. Not clear, however, is, in which disorders the emotional participation is minimal or secondary, and in which the emotional factor is paramount or primary. It would be important to delineate the disorders of the second group more carefully from the first because even though it is basically correct that emotional components are present in any disease, this concept carries the intrinsic danger of diluting the application of psychosomatic tenets to such an extent that some of the specific observations which were made in a special group of disorders will be lost.


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