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Revista chilena de neuro-psiquiatría

On-line version ISSN 0717-9227


NADER-N., Armando. Dissociation and functional neurological symptoms in the perspective of Pierre Janet. Rev. chil. neuro-psiquiatr. [online]. 2018, vol.56, n.3, pp.161-168. ISSN 0717-9227.

In the following article the author remark the importance of recognizing the ogirin of Pierre Janet's concept of dissociation. This, due to the relevance of these ideas for the study and treatment of trauma and post traumatic stress disorder, among other pathologies. The main objective of this text is explaining from Janet's perspective, the concept of dissociation and its relation with the following concepts: “fixed ideas”, “narrowed field of consciousness” and “weakness of mental synthesis”. The article include a brief biography of Pierre Janet, making special emphasis in his legacy and contemporary clinical applications of his psychology and psychopathology. Furthermore, functional neurological symptoms are described. Those clinical manifestations were named in Janet's time as “hysteria”, concept that could be traced historically as the starting point for the concept of dissociation. These functional symptoms are (among others): paralysis, muscular contractures and body parts anesthesia; conceptually differentiating functional symptoms from organic symptoms. An interesting form of summarising the concepts of this article is using Janet's words: “Dissociation is the lost of synthesis and association of psychological functions, displacing them away from explicit consciousness and relegating these functions to the subconscious, situations that occurring due to an emotional state or in an spontaneous way … this process facilitates the separation of the emotional states from consciousness, making possible the representation of emotions in physical symptoms”.

Keywords : Dissociation; Conversion; Subconscious; Trauma; Janet.

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