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Medicinal psychology
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Medicinal psychology

Medicinal psychology revolves around the idea that both the body and mind are one, indivisable structure. Continuing with this line of thought, all diseases whether of the mind or of the physical body must be treated as if they have both been effected.

This belief that the corporeal and the physical bodies are one is by no means new. Socrates introduced the Greeks to this idea in several of his works, however for a time in the Early Modern period, it was lost to René Descartes' (also known as Cartesian) belief of the two separate bodies. Only recently has this arcane thoguht been reintroduced into medical schools across the world.

The Thought Behind It

Some doctors and philosophers today believe that this Cartesian line of thought is outdated. Some anecdotal evidence has been raised concerning the lack of effective treatment for things such as migraines, pains and cancer and that perhaps the cure should not only be centred on the body but also the mind. Some also raise the argument that most uncurable diseases are brought about not merely by physical ailments but mental problems. All evidence is of course unproven and will likely remain as such for a long time to come.


Education (termed psychoeducation) is one of the most important factors in medicinal psychology and often leads to a better rate of compliance and adherance to treatment/ This is of course true for any branch of medicine or psychiatry.

Training in Medical Psychology entails a doctoral degree (Ph.D., or Psy.D.) in clinical psychology, an internship, and postdoctoral training in one of the branches of medicine traditionally associated with psychological fields: psychosomatic medicine, rehabilitation, neuropsychology (central nervous system functioning – brain functions), substance abuse, pain medicine, etc. Recently, the contribution of Medical Psychologist to general health care has been given a special boost by their use as Primary Care doctors in the world’s largest HMO, the California Kaiser Permanente. These psychologists work along with Primary Care Physicians in order to determine optimum treatment plans for all patients with physical and/or mental illnesses.

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This will likely need rewording in some areas and further information. 16:11, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)