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Vulnerability for functional somatic disorders: A contemporary psychodynamic approach

Luyten, P; Van Houdenhove, B; Lemma, A; Target, M; Fonagy, P; (2013) Vulnerability for functional somatic disorders: A contemporary psychodynamic approach. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration , 23 (3) pp. 250-262. 10.1037/a0032360.

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Abstract

Patients with functional somatic disorders (FSD) are markedly heterogeneous with regard to the factors contributing to their illness, their symptoms, and treatment response. In this article, we present a contemporary psychodynamic approach to the conceptualization and treatment of these patients based on attachment and mentalization theory. Extant research is reviewed that suggests a key role for attachment history and mentalization in determining stress and affect regulation, and immune and painregulating systems. We focus more specifically on the high interpersonal and metabolic costs associated with the excessive use of insecure secondary attachment strategies in response to stress, and the associated impairments in (embodied) mentalization in patients, both as a cause and consequence of FSD. Finally, a new brief psychodynamic intervention for patients with functional somatic complaints is discussed. © 2013 American Psychological Association.

Type: Article
Title: Vulnerability for functional somatic disorders: A contemporary psychodynamic approach
DOI: 10.1037/a0032360
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1405440
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