1st Edition

A Psychoanalytic Approach to Treating Psychosis Genesis, Psychopathology and Case Study

By Franco de Masi Copyright 2020
    168 Pages
    by Routledge

    168 Pages
    by Routledge

    A Psychoanalytic Approach to Treating Psychosis shows how, by understanding the antecedents and dynamics of psychosis, a psychoanalytic approach can offer a long-term alternative to the only psychotropic therapy and an explanation of the infantile origin of the illness.

    This ground-breaking examination begins by clearly explaining complex terms and theories from the most significant thinkers in psychoanalysis. Split into three parts, it then explores the problems faced when following one specific technique for understanding the psychotic process. Practical as well as theoretical, Part 2 illustrates how to prepare an appropriate setting for the patient, including the importance of listening and the analyst’s approach, as well as highlighting key features of the condition, such as delusions, hallucinations, infantile withdrawal and psychotic dreams. Acknowledging that psychosis is a psychic transformation which the mind works as a sensorial organ, the author asserts that the seeds are sown in childhood through emotional trauma, leading to withdrawal into a fantasy world. 

    Brimming with real-life vignettes throughout, Part 3 is dedicated to a unique and lengthy case study to illustrate the challenges of working with such patients. It also looks positively towards future research on psychosis informed by insights from neuroscience.

    Innovative and accessible, this book will be essential reading for anyone working in psychosis, including psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, psychologists and physicians.

    Foreword, Howard B. Levine;  Introduction;  Part 1;  Chapter 1: Psychosis: the problem of a specific technique;  Chapter 2: Non systematic models;  Chapter 3: Kleinian contributions;  Part 2;  Chapter 4: The setting and transference in psychosis;  Chapter 5: The psychic withdrawal and the psychotic part of the personality;  Chapter 6: Dreams and delusions in psychosis;  Chapter 7: Hallucinations;  Chapter 8:  Trauma and the Super-ego in psychosis;  Part 3;  Chapter 9: A psychoanalytic therapy;  Chapter 10:  Clinical considerations;  Chapter 11: Future perspectives;  References;  Index


    Franco De Masi is a former president of the Centro Milanese di Psicoanalisi and Secretary of the Training Institute of Milan. He has published papers in international psychoanalytical journals and books translated into English, French, German, Spanish and Polish.

    "...this book is of immense value to any clinician who seeks to grasp and address the nature of the destructive mystery that appears to shroud the omnipotently functioning mind of the psychotic individual. It provides conceptual tools and a range of technical and humane strategies for engaging with the patient despite the inordinate obstacles faced by both parties. That these obstacles may, over time and with sufficient skill and patience, be overcome gives renewed hope to clinicians working to ameliorate the plight of this most damaged, and often neglected, group of patients." - The International Journal of Psychoanalysis