Psychosomatics in the Look of Psychology

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Abstract: Psychosomatic is a subject much talked about in recent times, not only in the area of ​​psychology as in other areas of health. In this text we will abort the context of Psychosomatics in a brief summary of its history, its theoretical basis (summarizing in some theoretical lines of psychology) and in practice.You will learn about Psychosomatics in the Look of Psychology.


Johann Christian August Heinroth (1773-1843)

The term psychosomatic, after centuries of structure, appeared in the last century, through Heinroth, with the creation of the psychosomatic (1918) and somatopsychic (1928) expressions.

(Mello Filho, 1992)

Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893)

At the end of the nineteenth century, Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893), an eminent French neurologist, who used hypnosis to study hysteria, demonstrated that morbid ideas could produce physical manifestations.

His pupil, the psychologist Frances Pierre Janet (1859-1947), considered as a priority, for the triggering of the hysterical picture, much more the psychological causes than the physical ones, more specifically the studies of paralyzes and hysterical anesthetics, originated from the pre- psychoanalytic.

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

In 1885, Freud followed his studies in Conversion Hysteria with Charcot, and later with Joseph Breuer, in order to evidence Hysteria of Conversion as a disease of psychological origin with organic manifestations.
Pavlov (1849-1936)

In 1899 Pavlov, in his study of Emotions in Physiological Processes, followed the ideas of Conditioning, which made it possible to transform psychological aspects into physiological ones through conditioned reflexes (sonorous noise at the presentation of flesh to salivation)

Psychosomatics in the Look of Psychology

Among others that contributed to Psychosomatics:



The psychosomatic is the science that studies the organic diseases with discharge in the body, that is to say, an injury of organ or system provoked by some dysfunction of the nervous system. In psychosomatics, reality is thought of in its unity, considering the biological and psychological aspects. It is interested in the aspects of interaction cause and effect, the person as a whole in its biological and relational perspective, that is, to think of reality in its totality: the biological entity and the psychological entity.

Psychosomatics in the Look of Psychology


The psychosomatic evolved from the Psychosomatics in the Look of Psychology investigations that contribute to the field with information about the unconscious origin of the diseases. Freud contributed to the relations between the psychic and the somatic, involving his works on neurosis, hysteria and conversion, recognizing the psychic functioning in the somatic symptoms of his patients.

For Winnicott, when he refers to Soma, he explains that first the baby is only a body, a living body that is personalized to the measure of its experiences. Not just physiological and anatomical. When we speak of psychosomatics, for Winnicott it is the experience of the psyche passing through the body.


According to Skinner (1957), men act upon the world and modify it and, in turn, are modified by the consequences of their action. ” Radical Behaviorism has in its theory the “Contingencies”, both our behaviors and feelings or emotions come from the contingencies we are exposed to. We can relate to Psychosomatics, being linked directly to contingencies, especially aversives.

In the analysis of the behavior we can also include Psychosomatic in the phylogenetic, Ontogenetic and cultural context, that is to say, it may be related to hereditary, environmental or personal characteristics of the individual.


In Cognitive-behavioral theory we have the cognitive model, which is: Central Belief to Intermediate Belief to Automatic Thoughts to Reactions (emotional, behavioral and physiological), when we speak of Psychosomatic, we can also relate to the cognitive model, since the reactions can be adverse.
Other approaches:

So far I have mentioned the most used approaches, as are many approaches, the text would be very extensive, but it is worth emphasizing that all approaches to psychology understand psychosomatic and work their due techniques and theories.

In some theories, including a part of psychoanalysis and also analytic (Jung), they believe that some underlying disease (eg asthma, heart disease, recurrent pain in certain parts of the body) are linked to issues of poorly elaborated emotions and patient experience , linked to the organic question. As for example: Asthma (can symbolize the difficulty of changing with the environment, or isolation, or feeling of inferiority disguised by the control of the environment, or even loss of control of the environment).

Psychosomatics in the Look of Psychology

Practical psychosomatics:

When I look at some cases related to psychosomatics I usually tell the patient that “when we keep our emotions, feelings for a long time, an hour the body will respond.

In the context of the Clinic, many patients / clients come to us on the basis of a medical indication, which goes to the doctor complaining of pains in the body, symptoms of heart disease, respiratory or pneumopathies, among others, and when doing the examinations, no organic change.

In the hospital context it is the same, patients go to the hospital with complaints of headache, symptoms of heart disease, respiratory or pneumopathies and when doing the exams, also do not accuse any organic changes, and in raising the patient’s previous history, demands arise from work , relationship, stress or even symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Remember: Do not confuse with psychiatric symptoms of anxious, depressive or even hypochondriacal (often related)

Psychosomatic – Some diseases:

  • Neurological: Headache / Migraines, vertigo, etc .
  • Respiratory: Asthma, Bronchitis, Rhinitis, Sinusitis (also allergic), etc .
  • Cardiovascular: Angina, tachycardia or bradycardia, Hypertension, etc .
  • Gastrointestinal: Gastritis / Ulcer, rectocolite, Gastroenterocolite, etc .
  • Dermatological: Dermatitis, psoriasis, urticaria, herpes, pruritus, eczema, etc .
  • Endocrine / Metabolic: Diabetes (all), Hyper or Hypothyroidism, etc .
  • Joints / Muscles: Tendonitis, arthritis, arthrosis, etc .
  • Autoimmune: Communicable diseases (flu / cold, meningitis, infections, otitis, abscesses, fungi, etc.)


Psychosomatics is on the rise both in theoretical studies and in practice, lately the demand for psychosomatic symptoms is growing in all areas of work, covering all areas of health (physicians, psychologists, physiotherapists, etc.), already proven and / or improved in several theories and studies, every psychology professional must know at least the basics about Psychosomatics.

I am not a specialist in the subject, especially in the approaches (except Cognitive Comportamente that is the one that I act), for that reason I wrote a brief summary based on literatures for the accomplishment of this text. I hope it was enlightening and of great help!

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