Sara Lou O’Connor’s research into emotion-based medicine began in the 1970s, when she studied the neuroscience discoveries of Hans Selye applied to psychology and psychiatry and the psychological approach to cancer research of Carl Simonton.  Her career next took her to Los Angeles, where she learned of the pioneering work of Lorin Stephens, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon who, in the 1960s, developed the first course in doctor-patient relationships at the University of Southern California School of Medicine.  


Sara Lou O’Connor’s work in humanistic medicine led her to Norman Cousins, whose 1979 Anatomy of an Illness wakened the medical community to the importance of emotions in medical diagnosis and treatment.  Cousins’s book led to the creation of the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and also inspired Sarno’s first book, Mind Over Back Pain (1982).


Inspired by the Simonton’s, oncologist and surgeon Bernie Siegel wrote Love, Medicine & Miracles (1986), opening the way for discussions of emotions in a medical community that had become focused solely on technology and pharmacology.  


The roots of their work traces back to Cannon, Selye, and Wolff, whose medical research provided the foundational physiological studies that led to the modern science of mainstream medicine.




Decades of research about the lives and work of emotion-based medicine pioneers

Buy Emotion-based Medicine: The Unconscious Causes of Pain and Illness (2013)

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Emotion-based Medicine: The Unconscious Causes of Pain and Illness,

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