August 1983

A Holistic Approach to Family Typology and the Axes ofDSM-III

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(8):901-906. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790070091012

If science does not see that the time has come to recognize as its central concern the whole of man, as individual and group, it fails to do justice to its greatest task and opportunity.


Adolph Meyer, to the best of our knowledge, first publicly uttered his term psychobiology in 1906 at the Clark University (Worcester, Mass) symposium, in the presence of Sigmund Freud.1 Meyer thereby espoused a clinical application of holism, the idea that the study of patients— and of humanity—should encompass the entire life experience, including biologic processes. In 1935, he stated that "any truly human study of man will always include life history and situation as well as function of structure and function of function."2 For this holistic examination of patients, he designed a life chart for noting biologic aberrations in the major body systems and important life experiences, both normative and traumatic.

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