The Psychosomatic Interview

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The psychosomatic interview is a patient-focused dialogue between physician and patient. It differs from the traditional disease-focused encounter in that the psychosomatic approach includes the biological, psychological, and sociocultural domains irrespective of the patients initial complaint, whether somatic or psychological. The process of dyadic interaction and the techniques of open questions are reviewed. Specific issues such as the alexithymic patient and breaking bad news are challenges in such communications. Organizing the data into the perspectives of diseases, dimensions, behaviors, and life stories allows the clinician to best understand their patients within a psychosomatic milieu.