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somatic compliance


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In psychoanalysis, the involvement of the body in the expression of symptoms of hysteria and other neurotic (1) disorders. Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) introduced the concept in his celebrated case study of ‘Dora’ entitled ‘Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria’ (1901/5): ‘Every hysterical symptom involves the participation of both sides. It cannot occur without the presence of a certain degree of somatic compliance offered by some normal or pathological process in or connected with one of the bodily organs’ (Standard Edition, VII, pp. 7–122, at p. 40, italics in original). [From Greek soma a body + -ikos of, relating to, or resembling]

Subjects: Psychology.


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