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Psychosomatic Medicine and Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry: Past, Present, and Future
Norman B. Levy
Psychiatric Services 1989; doi:
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The author thanks Drs. Michael Blumenfield, Don R. Lipsitt, Graeme J. Taylor, and Thomas N. Wise for helpful suggestions.

Liaison Psychiatry Division, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York 10595

1989 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Although "psychosomatic meducine" and "consultation-liaison psychiatry" are imprecise terms, they continue to be useful in describing, respectively, theoretical constructs of the relationship between psychiatry and the rest of medicine and the day-to-day applications of these constructs. The history of these fields encompasses many contributions of psychoanalysis, including the formulation of specificity theory and the so mo topsychic-psychosomatic process, as well as the work of Henry, Gregg, and Engel. Currently, their scope incorporates a large and expanding group of physical illnesses and clinical settings. Like the rest of medicine, these fields will continue to feel the effects of reduced federal support, a consumer-oriented society, and increased regulation. However, with advances in psychosomatic theory and broader clinical and research activity, induding that stemming from biological psychiatry, the future of psychosomatic medicine and consultation-liaison psychiatry seems positive.

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