Behavior: Psychosomatic Phlebitis?

Dr. Samuel Silverman, 62, is one psychoanalyst willing to declare that Richard Nixon's phlebitis is psychosomatic. He is aware of the pitfalls of glib, long-distance analyses of public figures. But his 30 years of research lead him to conclude that all illnesses are probably psychosomatic—the result of interaction between emotions and the body.

While analyzing patients in the late 1960s, Dr. Silverman, associate professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, noticed that dreams, fears and personal associations sometimes prefigured physical diseases. In one case a woman who reported a cluster of hints about a coming illness, including a dream of riding...

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