Definition of psychogenesis in US English:



  • The psychological cause to which a mental illness or behavioral disturbance may be attributed (as distinct from a physical cause).

    • ‘‘Functional nervous disorder’ was used in the late 19th century to denote symptoms arising from disordered nervous functioning, but in the 20th century this was superseded by terms that implied psychogenesis, such as psychosomatic.’
    • ‘Greenblatt needs Shakespeare to have been a Catholic to enable him to say what he wants to say about the psychogenesis of Hamlet, which is for him the absolute centre of Shakespeare's life.’
    • ‘The terms used to describe such symptoms - medically unexplained symptoms or functional somatic symptoms - are purely descriptive and do not imply psychogenesis.’
    • ‘We will use the term functional symptoms, which does not assume psychogenesis but only a disturbance in bodily functioning.’
    • ‘In what follows, I explore the ambivalent nature of cannibalistic images in the Pitjantjatjara and other Australian Aboriginal life-worlds in light of its significance for the psychogenesis of the self.’