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The Book Forum |

New Dimensions in Psychosomatic Medicine

Marjorie C. Meehan, MD
JAMA. 1964;189(7):589. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070070061030.
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Two books on the same general subject, both multi-authored and each containing an interesting historical essay by the late Franz Alexander, have otherwise little in common. New Dimensions in Psychosomatic Medicine is a collection of new contributions mainly by psychiatrists, but addressed to practitioners in all medical fields. Alexander not only gives a historical review but also pleads for tolerance of personality deviations. Although a psychoanalyst himself, he shows that some patients may benefit more by environmental change than by psychoanalysis. In another good chapter, "The Management of Death and the Dying Patient," Wahl discusses the physician's own unconscious attitudes towards death and makes many suggestions as to how a doctor can help a patient "to die with dignity and serenity."

Grotjahn contributes an essay describing his own personal experiences with a kidney stone. This is recommended to all physicians who have not themselves had much experience as patients. Two


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