Psychological Medicine

Research Article

‘Psychogenic’: a word and its mutations

Aubrey Lewisa1

a1 From the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London


The word ‘psychogenic’ was introduced into psychiatry in 1894 by Robert Sommer. Many attempts have been made to clarify the concept it denotes and apply it to clinical purposes. These attempts have been bedevilled by unsettled philosophical problems. It is suggested that the word should be decently buried.