A symposium on the psychosomatic aspects of asthma was held in December, 1961. The papers from this symposium with some additional material are contained in this book. In the first and introductory chapter is reviewed the development of the concepts of asthma, followed by a worthwhile discussion of the clinical diagnosis of the disease. I would urge the reader to look next at the last chapter. Here, Peter Knapp in postulating a general theory presents a discussion of the problem with enough perspective so that the chapter can serve as a "frame of reference" for the remainder of the book.
The intervening 13 chapters give a fairly representative picture of the current thinking about the psychodynamic aspects of asthma. The chapters are interestingly written, but principally in the jargon of psychiatry. They tend to be composed of a few case histories with interpretations based upon them. The posited psychodynamics are