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Mohr, G.J. (1949). Mind and Body; Psychosomatic Medicine: By Flanders Dunbar, M.D. New York: Random House, 1947. 263 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 18:92-93.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:92-93

Mind and Body; Psychosomatic Medicine: By Flanders Dunbar, M.D. New York: Random House, 1947. 263 pp.

Review by:
George J. Mohr

Doctor Dunbar states her intent in writing this book of making clear for the general reader how people become patients, and how they get over being patients. In well-organized fashion, she presents childhood experience in its relation to later emotional and somatic disturbances. Delayed-Action Mines of Childhood is the dramatic title of one of the two chapters devoted to this theme. The nature of neurotic somatic conversion is discussed under the title, The Beloved Symptom. Patient-doctor and doctor-patient relationships are treated in a lively manner, at times verging on discussion perhaps better confined to works intended for the physician only, rather than for the patient. Countertransference problems are the responsibility of the doctor.

Habitual accidents, cardiac illness, hypertension, gastrointestinal disturbances, allergic reactions, diabetes, and self-destructive attitudes in chronic illness are reviewed. The author's extensive experience and her familiarity with the studies of her colleagues in these fields enable her to present a rich variety of case material.

As a general review of the field of psychosomatic medicine this work is informative, sound, and goes far toward attaining the objectives the author has set for herself. The several chapters, however, are not equally clear and convincing. The discussion of allergic conditions is lucid and well organized. That on diabetes is confusing, at least to the reviewer. The author uses in this chapter a section heading, Curdled Emotions, to indicate the soured and confused outlook of her patient who later becomes diabetic.

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