18. Psychosomatics and Conversion

The Question of the Symbol

  1. Nicola Diamond

Published Online: 7 APR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118321102.ch18

Between Skins: The Body in Psychoanalysis - Contemporary Developments

Between Skins: The Body in Psychoanalysis - Contemporary Developments

How to Cite

Diamond, N. (2013) Psychosomatics and Conversion, in Between Skins: The Body in Psychoanalysis - Contemporary Developments, John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118321102.ch18

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 APR 2013
  2. Published Print: 20 MAY 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470019429

Online ISBN: 9781118321102

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Keywords:

  • bodily enactment;
  • conversion;
  • psychosomatics;
  • somatic access;
  • somatic symptom formation;
  • symbolic access

Summary

This chapter explores, in depth, body symptoms as a form of meaningful expression. In referring to the body and meaning, the author considers how absence and separation alter bodily experience and the fact that meaning also fails; where there is meaning there is also non-sense. However, because meaning has been allied to speech and thought, the relation between soma and meaningful expression has not been well understood. The author focuses on how the soma has access to the symbolic dimension of human experience, but emphasized on the need of greater clarity as to the differences in symptom formation. It is suggested that the turnaround, away from conversion and towards psychosomatics, is not simply a reflection of the changing maladies, but also to do with the limits in the current state of psychoanalytic understanding.