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Psychosomatic Medicine in France

  • Pascal-Henri Keller
  • Theo Leydenbach
Chapter

Abstract

In France, psychosomatic medicine had developed through modalities that were different from those of most other countries where it became institutional. Thus, the French psychosomatic practitioners and theorists pursued their respective research independently of each other. Inspired more by psychoanalysis than by biological research and animal experimentation, the researchers and caregiver concerned with the psyche/soma interaction put into place original approaches springing from their respective institutions. The primary consequence of the French situation is that there is no unified psychosomatic movement with academic recognition, such as in Germany. In the second half of the twentieth century, there did in fact exist a French school of psychosomatics, “The Paris School”, equivalent to “The Chicago School” created in the United States during the same period. However, the rapid advancements in evidence-based medicine, as well as its growing efficiency in previously unexplained pathologies, would reduce the influence of this school and eventually contribute to its disappearance as such. Still, numerous approaches, personal and/or collective, were eager to maintain in theory, if not always in practice, this need to consider the sick body in connection with the psyche. Thus, far from disappearing, the idea of “psychosomatics” continued to develop in both the medical environment and in common usage in France, becoming a true reference, even if it is not always clearly defined.

Keywords

Psychoanalysis The Paris school Psyche/soma Psychic apparatus Drive Complexity Imaginary Deficiency Marty Sami-Ali 

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pascal-Henri Keller
    • 1
  • Theo Leydenbach
    • 2
  1. 1.University of PoitiersPoitiersFrance
  2. 2.University Paris XIIParisFrance

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