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Trueman, L.D. (2005). Ramos, Denise Gimenez. The Psyche of the Body: A Jungian Approach to Psychosomatics. New York: Brunner-Routledge, 2004. Pp. 176. Pbk. £16.99.. J. Anal. Psychol., 50(3):395-396.

(2005). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 50(3):395-396

Ramos, Denise Gimenez. The Psyche of the Body: A Jungian Approach to Psychosomatics. New York: Brunner-Routledge, 2004. Pp. 176. Pbk. £16.99.

Review by:
Leslie D. Trueman

Edited by:
David Hewison and Mark Kuras

Jungian analysis can make a substantial contribution to the treatment or even cure of certain cases of cancer heart disease and a host of other organic problems. This is the view of Denise Gimenez Ramos, and in this book she reports case after case of improvement or even actual cure of these serious health problems when conventional treatment is supplemented with therapy. Not every case is a success, nor does she claim that all organic problems will respond to analysis, but it takes bravery to write such a book, with a claim that so many analysts suspect in their hearts but is so difficult to prove.

Jung was aware that organic disease could have a psychic component. Some of his word association tests were designed to show the role of the body: when a complex had been touched on, there were corresponding signs of physiological arousal. In the Tavistock Lectures he speaks of the complex as having physiological effects such as upsetting the stomach or breathing. Of course, Jung did not go as far as Ramos, who treats very serious organic diseases, and even points to individual tumours on a single patient's body as representing different complexes.

In the first chapter, Ramos gives an account of the history of models of healing. Here she finds a decline: once we lived in a state of holistic medicine (archaic people, the Greeks and the Romantics), but now we have become immersed in the mind/body split which is reductive in its search for a single (biological) cause for illness. Suprisingly, on the way, she does not hold Descartes responsible for this split.

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