Friday, 14 December 2007

Another psychosomatic book

Jean Benjamin Stora, psychoanalyst and psychosomatician, head of teaching for Integrative Psychosomatics at the Faculty of Medicine at La Pitié-Salpêtrière (Paris), has written When the Body Displaces the Mind: Stress, Trauma and Somatic Disease.
When the human being is overwhelmed by excitations, tensions and frustrations, and the psychic apparatus is no longer able to absorb them because of its fragility and its weaknesses, it is the body that takes over.
Stora updates Freud's economic model:
This new psychosomatic approach fosters the economic and energic dimension of psychic functioning and its role in somatisations. In formulating the economic principle, Sigmund Freud referred to Carnot's theory in order to justify his viewpoint scientifically. Now, as Carnot's theory applies only to closed mechanical systems, it is no longer appropriate today; this book proposes replacing Carnot's theory with the 'open dissipative energy systems' theory (Ilya Prigogine) adopted in medicine and adapted here to the economic principle of psychoanalysis.
Naturally, the pitfall of dividing 'real' organic diseases from psychosomatic ones has been avoided:
In the context of this new approach, it is no longer a question of psychosomatic diseases but the role that the psyche plays in all diseases without actually being their cause. The psyche participates in the defence of both the organism and the immune system and it must be examined in relation to the somatic functions and organs.
Should be worth reading.


DrBob said...

Hi David, thank you for drawing my attention to this book. I've just ordered it

david said...

Hi Bob, I'd like to hear your views on it.