Posts Tagged ‘psychosomatic’

What is psychosomatic medicine?

Friday, June 5th, 2015


Psychosomatic medicine focuses on the interactions between mind and body and the powerful ways in which emotional, mental, social and spiritual factors can directly affect health.

Psychosomatic medicine focuses on the study and treatment of those emotional disturbances that are manifested as physical disorders. The term psychosomatic emphasizes essential unity of the psyche and the soma, a combination rooted in ancient Greek medicine. Common disorders caused at least partly by psychological factors include childhood asthma, certain gastrointestinal problems, hypertension, endocrine disturbances, diabetes, and possibly even heart disease.

Psychosomatic medicine deals with:

  • Clinical situations where mental processes act as a major factor affecting medical outcomes.
  • illnesses due to the interaction of the mind and the body
  • physical diseases which have a mental component derived from the stresses and strains of everyday living ex. lower back pain, high blood pressure
  • the influence that the mind has over physical processes
  • disabilities that are based on intellectual infirmities, rather than actual injuries or physical limitations, (somatoform disorders)
  • physical illness with their biopsychosocial aspects e.g. cancer diseases
  • physiological and functional disorders as response to psychological or physical trauma e.g. posttraumatic stress disorder and adjustment disorders
  • Conversion disorders physical symptoms , which go back to unconscious conflicts
  • Hypochondria
  • disturbed health behavior and its consequences (e.g. smoking)
  • mental disorders associated with physical discomfort: depression, anxiety disorders
  • mental illness, which have physiological effects : eating disorders, personality disorders

Psychosomatic medicine treatments are necessary in 3 different situations:

  1. The patients who have both a mental (psychiatric) illness and a medical illness, and these illnesses complicate the symptoms and management of each other
  2. The patients who have a psychiatric problem that is a direct result of a medical illness or its treatment, such as having depression due to cancer and its treatment.
  3. Somatoform disorders. Somatoform disorders are psychiatric disorders that are displayed through physical problems. In other words, the physical symptoms people experience are related to psychological factors rather than a medical cause.

Some examples:

  • Conversion disorder
  • Somatization disorder
  • Hypochondriasis
  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • Pain disorder

Treatment types

  • psychotherapeutic conversation
  • dynamical psychotherapy
  • psychoanalyze
  • analytical group therapy
  • family therapy
  • suggestive therapy
  • hypnosis
  • body centered therapy
  • self-help groups


Advantages of residency training in psychosomatic medicine

Psychosomatic medicine and Psychotherapy is an exciting and new growing medical specialty with a fast and constant evolution. It offers a new point of view regarding the correlation between physical and (somatic) illness and psychiatric factors that create somatic illnesses without physical substance. An interesting aspect is the fact that a psychosomatic medicine and Psychotherapy practitioner has the opportunity to conduct psychiatric evaluations and treatments for mentally healthy individuals without having to interact with common psychiatric patients.

In Germany psychosomatic primary care is compulsory part of training in all specialties. All practicing physicians need to complete an 80-hour course of basic psychosomatic care (psychosocial diagnostic interview, psychotherapeutic interventions, and relaxation techniques). The most common training method in psychosomatic medicine is based on the Balint groups method, in which a group of doctors, therapists and Psychologists consult with each other regarding the treatments of the patients and the treatment relationships.

The residency training lasts 5 years and the required rotations are the following:

  • 1 year psychiatry and psychotherapy (6 months can be spent in the department of child and adolescent psychiatry)
  • 1 year Internal medicine
  • 3 years in psychosomatics

If you start a residency in psychosomatic medicine and want to change your specialty, you can get some part of your residency training in psychosomatic medicine recognized in the following specialties:

  • Anesthesiology – 12 Months
  • Surgery – 6 Months
  • Gynecology – 6 Months (training in psychosomatics is mandatory)
  • Human genetics – 12 Months
  • Internal medicine and general medicine – 12 Months (training in psychosomatics is mandatory)
  • Pediatrics and adolescent medicine – 6 Months
  • Child and adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy – 12 Months
  • Neurology – 12 Months
  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
  • Psychiatry -12 Months
  • Pathology – 12 Months
  • Pharmacology – 12 Months
  • Radiology – 12 Months

Supra specialties of psychosomatic medicine are:

  • Psychoanalysis
  • Psychotherapy
  • Rehabilitations medicine
  • Acupuncture
  • Allergology
  • Occupational medicine
  • Geriatrics
  • Homeopathy


What does it mean to be a doctor in the field of Psychosomatic Medicine?

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014



Being a healthcare recruiting agency with a lot of vacant positions in the field of Psychosomatic medicine and Psychotherapy in Germany we are often asked by our candidates:

  • “Is this specialty similar to other specialties in other countries?”
  • “What does a doctor do if he chooses to start his residency program in the field of Psychosomatic?”
  •  “Why should I be interested in following this specialty?”

The field of psychosomatic medicine and Psychotherapy is a relative new specialization that was established in Germany in 1992 after realising the need for such medical specialists. Currently the field is only present in Germany and Austria.

The residency program covers:

  • 3 years of psychosomatic and psychotherapy
  • 1 year of psychiatry
  • 1 year of internal medicine

Psychosomatic medicine includes:

  • Diagnosis of psychosomatic illnesses
  • Psychotherapeutic treatment
  • Prevention and rehabilitation

In order to become a specialist doctor in the field of Psychosomatic Medicine, one must complete the 5 years of residency. At least 1500 hours of psychotherapeutic treatment must be provided by the physician in training with respective minimum numbers for individual psychotherapies of different lengths (short-term therapy, shoulder length therapies, long-term therapy), group therapy, couple and family therapy.

Specialist training for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy includes:

  • ethical, scientific and legal foundations of medical practice
  • the medical evaluation
  • the measures of quality assurance and quality management, including the error and risk management
  • medical interviewing, including family counselling
  • psychosomatic Basics
  • interdisciplinary collaboration
  • the etiology, pathophysiology and pathogenesis of diseases
  • the Enlightenment and the documentation of findings
  • the laboratory-based detection methods
  • medical emergency situations
  • the principles of pharmacotherapy, including the interactions of drugs and drug abuse
  • the general pain management
  • the care of seriously ill and dying
  • interdisciplinary indications for further diagnostic tests-including the differential indication and interpretation of radiological findings related to territorial issues
  • psychosocial, environmental and cross-cultural influences on health
  • the prevention, detection, treatment and rehabilitation psychotherapeutic psychosomatic diseases and disorders including family counseling, addiction and suicide prevention
  • the practical application of scientifically recognized psychotherapy procedures and methods, especially cognitive behavioral therapy or psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • the indication for socio-therapeutic measures
  • Detection and treatment of behavioral problems in childhood and adolescence
  • Basics of detection and treatment of internal diseases that require a psychosomatic treatment
  • Detection and treatment of mental-physical interactions in chronic diseases, such as cancer, neurological, cardiac, orthopedic and rheumatic diseases as well as metabolic and autoimmune diseases
  • psychiatric history and diagnostic assessment
  • the area-based drug therapy, with particular reference to the risks of drug abuse
  • the detection and psychotherapeutic treatment of psychogenic pain syndromes
  • autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation or hypnosis
  • the implementation of supportive and psycho-educational therapies for somatic health
  • Foundations in behavioral therapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • Crisis interventions under supervision
  • 35 double hours Balint group or interaction-related casework
  • psychosomatic-psychotherapeutic consulting and liaison service


Why should you consider becoming a specialist doctor in the field of Psychosomatic medicine and Psychotherapy?

Psychosomatic medicine and Psychotherapy is an exciting and new growing medical speciality with a fast and constant evolution. It offers a new point of view regarding the correlation between physical and (somatic) illness and psychiatric factors that create somatic illnesses without physical substance.

An interesting aspect is the fact that a Psychosomatic medicine and Psychotherapy practitioner has the opportunity to conduct psychiatric evaluations and treatments for mentally healthy individuals without having to interact with common psychiatric patients.

One can be certain that Psychosomatic medicine and Psychotherapy practitioners will be more and more sought after in the near future!

Interested in working in the field of Psychosomatic medicine and Psychotherapy?

Check out this job description!





Mankind does not have the right to suffer

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

In Lithuania, the constitutional right to free medical treatment is just a formality. In fact much of the health care services provided are paid from the pockets of the patients. The fact that medical institutions are illegally robbing the funds allocated for healthcare is no secret for the family members of the ill, to the Ministry of Health and the State Patient Fund (SPF). However not much is done to resolve this delicate matter.

How ill?

The examination of the Thyroid costs 9 euro, a sonogram costs 15 euro, and without a prescription from your doctor it can cost around 50 euro. The drugs cost at least 30 euro, and that’s just the start of the treatment. Sestokiene Gitana suffers from kidney stones. She says she does not understand why she has to pay the compulsory health insurance (CHI) fee, if she can’t get help in her time of need. This is the second month she’s been waiting for her ultrasound examination, a procedure recommended to undertake in maximum 10 days, also she might have to wait for another month. The family doctor recommended her to call the ambulance if anything bad happens that puts her in a life threatening situation, since non-life threatening cases are best handled by private institutions.

“Thank God that I have a job and I can afford the treatment. But what if I was a pensioner? What would people do if they are currently jobless? Surprisingly it has come so far that hospitals only treat life threatening situations.”

“We do not have enough money allocated for treatment and diagnosis of oncological diseases. There is simply no money. Not anyone can afford to pay 30-60 euro to make sure that they are not suffering of anything. Patients with malignant diseases should have savings… It is true that drugs can be reimbursed for any of them, but not all patients live near the hospital or even in the city, and travel costs are not reimbursed. Also with such a disease people are not fit to travel and not able to work”, Stated cancer patient Ingrid Pasvenskiene.

Health – a matter of money

“It is only a declaration that the treatment in Lithuania is free. In fact the same patient pays for health several times: once to the CHI, then there are the travel costs to the doctor and then the possibility that the drugs you need won’t be reimbursed. Regarding the so called free treatment, there is only one thing I can state: There are no satisfied patients in Lithuania”

Patients in the medical institutions are often manipulated. For example, a doctor warned that the study will have to wait a month and a half, however if you agree to pay for it, it can start in a week. Even if the SPF compensates for a cure for the disease, it is usually the cheapest treatment possible.

“They say that asthmatics are lucky, because the medicines are reimbursed. However, the treatment even for just a week can cost from 60 to 600 euros”, E. Kvedaraite asthma patient.

“The treatment has become a service. These services are physically out of control, while useful and profitable.”

You could say that every time you open the door of a medical institution you also have to open your wallet.


Source of the article here:

6 percent of the psychiatrist positions in Germany are vacant!

Friday, February 17th, 2012


There is no need to point out the fact that there is a doctor shortage in Germany. This is a well-known fact that we have already covered in previous articles.

Through this article we want to highlight the fact that serious studies underline the fields of psychiatrics and psychosomatic as the specialties with the biggest doctor deficiencies in Germany.

If you are a specialist or resident doctor in psychiatry I suggest you should keep on reading!


Berlin – Two-thirds of all psychiatric institutions have problems with the filling the vacant positions. Nationwide, six percent of all doctors in psychiatry are vacant. This is the result of the new so-called psychiatric barometer of the German Hospital Institute (DKI), a 2011 representative survey carried out in psychiatric and psychosomatic institutions in Germany. According to the study, psychiatry represents the specialty with the biggest shortage of doctors in Germany.

The psychiatric hospitals, according to the survey has and average median of 158 beds, while general hospitals hold an average of 105 beds. According to the data collected in 2010, psychiatric hospitals provided medical inpatient care for an average (median) of 1996 cases. General hospitals provided medical impatient care for an average of (median) 1364 patients.

“With the introduction of the pro rata pay system, the psychiatric institutes must face new tasks and challenges”. The psychiatric barometer indicates the ascension to personnel and administrative burden. The majority of the institutions have created new jobs and functions, expanded internal documentation and staff training.

The results of the psychiatric Barometer 2011 are based on an exhaustive survey of the psychiatric hospitals and general hospitals with psychiatric or psychosomatic departments. 178 institutions have participated at this survey.


So… the German job market is waiting for you! What are you waiting for?

Apply now!




Source of the article here: