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Lichtman, C. (2010). Psychosomatic Medicine: A Psychoanalyst's Journey Through a Somatic World. Psychoanal. Inq., 30(5):380-389.

(2010). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 30(5):380-389

Psychosomatic Medicine: A Psychoanalyst's Journey Through a Somatic World

Craig Lichtman, M.D. and FIPA

Clinical discussions within the broad field of psychosomatic medicine tend to be concerned with either psychological influences on somatic functioning or somatic influences on the mental functioning of individual patients and tend to be conceptualized through either a psychological or a somatic lens. Gottlieb (2003) described this dichotomization by following the different paths taken by Freud and Janet. Efforts to bring these lenses together to form a psychosomatic whole, by bringing together the traditions of psychoanalysis and psychiatry, have generally resulted in a clash of cultures. This article represents an attempt to bridge the cultures of psyche and soma, by providing a case example of the daily practice of a psychoanalyst consulting in a medical–surgical healthcare setting, by highlighting important contributions to the consultation literature, and by describing ways of shifting focus from the individual patient to the system within which the patient exists.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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