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Yakeley, J. (2019). Editorial. Psychoanal. Psychother., 33(1):1-4.

(2019). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 33(1):1-4



Jessica Yakeley

The four original papers in this issue, each from a different country, illustrate how psychoanalytic theory and practice continues to be applied internationally in the public sector – the very specific remit of this journal – within the full range of our work as mental health professionals: in the clinical assessment and treatment of patients, in teaching and training, in our own development through personal psychotherapy, in working with the wider institution and society, and of course in research, demonstrated by the different methodologies whereby the topics of each of these papers is investigated and explored.

The first paper, a qualitative study from Dublin, Ireland, ‘Something torn or burst or unbearable: a psychoanalytically-informed exploration of the experience of somatic symptoms’ by Alison Byrne, John O’Connor, Jennifer O’Raghallaigh and Siobhan McHale, makes an important contribution to the growing psychoanalytic literature in the field of psychosomatics, a topic of renewed interest within psychiatry as indicated by the creation of the new diagnostic category of somatic symptom disorder (SSD) in DSM 5. Psychoanalysis, of course, was founded upon Freud’s study and treatment of hysteria, but patients with somatic symptomatology have subsequently often been considered as resistant to exploratory psychotherapy, finding it difficult to relocate their distress from the body to the mind. Byrne and her colleagues expose the lived experience of individuals suffering from somatic symptoms, and the dilemmas of working with them, through the personal accounts of six patients who were seen in a liaison psychiatry service.

[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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