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Sanders, K. (1998). Somatic Illness and the Patient's Other Story. By Brian Broom. London/New York: Free Association Books. 1997. Pp. 187. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 79:831-832.

(1998). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 79:831-832

Somatic Illness and the Patient's Other Story. By Brian Broom. London/New York: Free Association Books. 1997. Pp. 187

Review by:
Kenneth Sanders

Brian Broom describes his work as a mind/body/spirit approach to disease. He writes about his method of urging patients selected as ‘somatisers’ to tell their ‘other story’, defined as: ‘amongst many other things, a woven tapestry of events, and of highly idiosyncratic responses to events. Many of the very significant events have to do with the vicissitudes of the patient's relationships with the world, and with other significant persions' (p. 1).

The name of the great psychosomatic physician, Groddeck, is invoked in tribute to the man who suggested the term ‘the Id’ to Freud, and who wrote imaginatively about the meaning of illness. Dr Broom is a consultant physician and psychotherapist, and there is a difference from the psychoanalytic approach of Balint, who initiated seminars at the Tavistock Clinic in London in 1969 to promote greater understanding between doctor and patient in general practice.

The author sees

physical disease not merely as some sort of biological disarray, but as a crystallisation of a complex set of interacting processes including the somatic and the psychological, and to do with language and relationship. In this view I find myself closely aligned with McDougall. My approach to the psychotherapy of somatic disorders is rather different from hers. We share an emphasis on object relations theory, self psychology and interpersonal theory, but I am less Freudian and often work in a briefer psychotherapeutic mode (p.

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