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Specificities of psychodynamic psychotherapy in the medically ill
Title of the conference
11th Annual Scientific Meeting of the European Association for Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and Psychosomatics (EACLPP) and the 27th European Conference on Psychosomatic Research (ECPR)
Zaragoza, June 25-28, 2008
Journal of Psychosomatic Research
Psychodynamic psychotherapy with patients suffering from somatic diseases is based on general principles of psychodynamic understanding, such as the influence of development and biographical elements on patient.s adaptation to illness or the role of defense mechanisms when facing existential threat. However, differences exist, such as the adaptation of the therapeutic setting, which thus loses some of its diagnostic and therapeutic power, or the early emergence of powerful transference, which cannot always be interpreted by the therapist. In addition, psychodynamic psychotherapy in the medically ill has some specificities, which differentiate it from classical psychoanalytic theory. The specificities concern, for example, transference of the medically ill, which is more adequately conceived by concepts of the existential analysis (Daseinsanalyse), or the patient.s loss of a sense of continuity, which needs an understanding beyond psychological theory taking into account philosophical (e.g. phenomenology), anthropological and ethical concepts.
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