Mission and Structure (Image)
APS Mission Title

The essential mission of the American Psychosomatic Society is to promote and advance the scientific understanding of the interrelationships among biological, psychological, social and behavioral factors in human health and disease, and the integration of the fields of science that separately examine each, and to foster the application of this understanding in education and improved health care.

The last half of this century has been a time of unprecedented growth in our understanding of human behavior and biology. A fuller description of the biological substrates that promote health or create disease is evolving. These data emerge from new analytic techniques that better assess the spectrum of biobehavioral phenomena from observable human behavior to cellular biology. Such information can illuminate relationships between health and disease, psychology and physiology and thereby suggest new treatment regimens in medicine, psychiatry and psychology. Thus, techniques of observing and analyzing human behavior emanating from and acting upon the fundamental structure and function of cells and tissues are important to our understanding the maintenance of health, in lessening the susceptibility to disease, and in enhancing many treatment regimens in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.

The task of psychosomatic medicine is to understand the nature and mechanisms of behavior and psychosocial encounters that may alter the development of the organism, its structure and its functions. Maladaptations and failure of integration in the interactions between an individual and the environment lead to disabling illnesses. These events require careful study and analysis.

The understanding of these events, provided by psychosomatic research and clinical studies, is an essential ingredient for the comprehensive understanding of human disease in order to lessen the burden of human suffering. The study of these factors and their assimilation into medical teaching and practice are central to the mission of the Society.


The Society is a forum for the discussion of data from any discipline that may enhance our understanding of the complex relationships that have led to a new appreciation of how mind and body interact in the maintenance of health and the causation of disease. This includes: basic studies of brain, behavior and bodily disease relationships; basic and applied psychopharmacological studies; demographic, transcultural and epidemiologic studies of the risk factors and natural history of disease; clinical studies of the risk factors and natural history of disease; and clinical studies derived from insights that emerge from the laboratory, all of which address the biopsychosocial and behavioral interactions that influence adaptive processes. Another important area for investigation is the multiplicity of factors that enter into the physician-patient relationship, and their potential significance. In summary, the Society is dedicated to psychosomatic research in various disciplines and the application of this new knowledge in the education of professionals and the care of patients.


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American Psychosomatic Society
6728 Old McLean Village Drive
McLean, VA 22101
(703) 556-9222  |  FAX (703) 556-8729

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