Relational dimension of alexithymia: results of a systems oriented research The term alexithymia, conied in 1973 by J. Nemiah and p. Sifneos, describes a set of feauteres initially attributed to psychosomatics patients, like difficulty in identifying, describing and communicating feelings, constricted imaginal processes, externally oriented cognitive style. Since the first theorizations about this personality construct arose, an extended discussion about its nosological classification, its onset and organic or mental illness related to it, took shape. Alexithymia has been studied over the years mainly in singleton; this lead to think that alexithymia is a personal feature only detectable in singleton. The working hypothesis is that alexithymic features exist not only in patient, but also in his relatives, even if by different measures and levels for everyone, according to the systemic point of view; we furthermore examin whether alexithymia is associated with somatization and how strongly. A set of questionaries, including SAR (Roman Alexithymia Scale) to explore alexithymia and SCL-90R (Self-Report Symptom Inventory- Revised) as a measure of general psychopathology, were administered to a sample of eighteen families referred to the U.O.D. of psychotherapy of the university “La Sapienza” in Rome, 59 persons in all. Data from the sample showed that alexithymia is not only a prerogative of “appointed patient”(the person in the family who shows symptom), but also a trait of personality shared by members of the family, proving the hipothesis that alexithymia is also a relational characteristic. In addition, a strong positive correlation (p <0.01) was found between alexithymia and somatization, the last one measured by the SCL-90R. It seems possible to see alexithymia by a different point of view, poorly explored until now, that is the “systemic point of view”, by which it is possible to bring this personality construct back to the origin, to consider it a relational deficit rather than a singleton deficit, and to give at the same time new meaning to somatic symptom.
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|Titolo:||Le dimensioni relazionali della alexitimia: risultati di una ricerca ad orientamento sistemico.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||Being printed|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||01a Articolo in rivista|