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Psychoanalysis On and Off the Couch

Dec 22, 2019

“What makes the human being need to be in relationships and how can one affect these relationships to allow growth? I am encompassing something which is moving from the sciences to relationships.”


Description: Harvey Schwartz welcomes Dr. Yehudah Fraenkel, who is a psychiatrist, a psychoanalyst and a member of the Israeli Psychoanalytic Society. Dr. Fraenkel has spent most of his professional career working at the intersection of medical care, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis. He has devoted his career to teaching medical students and residents, and also working for many years with family physicians. He has run a Balint Group for family physicians since 1995, as well as run courses in psychotherapy and consulting for a large group of family physicians since 1993. Enjoy today’s interview with Dr. Yehudah Fraenkel.


Key takeaways:

[3:20] The mind-body interface and somatization.

[6:09] Dr. Yehudah Fraenkel talks about how he understands the concept of the mind-body interface.

[7:45] Somatization. When the body manifests feelings or unconscious conflicts that cannot be felt or spoken.

[8:40] Psychosomatics deal with panic.

[10:45] The support system for people that are being discharged from the hospital is a great predictor of how their health is going to progress.

[11:40] How depression is related to death from cardiac disease.

[12:13] Dr.Schwartz talks about broken heart syndrome.

[15:36] Dr. Fraenkel shares his experience working with family physicians.

[18:38] Dr. Fraenkel presents a case of pelvic pain syndrome.

[20:17] The value of teaching splitting to physicians

[21:43] Teaching doctors to deal with passive-aggressive patients.

[22:15] Balint groups as a useful tool for doctors to share and reflect their feelings.

[26:27] Transference is much stronger when the doctor puts his hands on you.

[27:44] Dr. Fraenkel talks about his personal and professional background.

[30:20] How the general medical community receives Dr. Fraenkel’s work.


Mentioned in this episode:

IPA Off the Couch


Recommended Readings:

Depression Following Myocardial Infarction Impact on 6-Month Survival, Nancy Frasure-Smith, PhD; François Lespérance, MD; Mario Talajic, MD JAMA. 1993;270(15):1819-1825.


The Doctor, His Patient and the Illness, Michael Balint Elsevier - Health Sciences Division 2000


Mind and Its Relation to the Psychosoma. In: through Pediatrics to Psychoanalysis. Winnicott  D.W. Karnac, London1987