Impasse and Interpretation: Therapeutic and Anti-Therapeutic Factors in the Psychoanalytic Treatment of Psychotic, Borderline, and Neurotic Patients, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Impasse and Interpretation

Therapeutic and Anti-Therapeutic Factors in the Psychoanalytic Treatment of Psychotic, Borderline, and Neurotic Patients, 1st Edition

By Herbert Rosenfeld


336 pages

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Herbert Rosenfeld makes a powerful case both for the intelligibility of psychotic symptoms and the potential benefits of their treatment by psychoanalytic means.


"This book is as valuable to the author's critics as it is to the many people who have followed his approach and who have tried to model their own clinical practice on some of his leading ideas. Its expository value has been greatly enhanced by careful editing, with the result that the author's ideas are available in a form that can be readily assimilated … Rosenfeld's approach to the treatment of psychoses is an individual one, and this book is a valuable and coherent contribution to its understanding." - British Journal of Medical Psychology

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. Part One: Introduction. A Psychoanalytic Approach to the Treatment of Psychosis. Part Two: The Analyst's Contribution to Successful and Unsuccessful Treatment. Some Therapeutic and Anti-therapeutic Factors in the Functioning of the Analyst. Breakdown of Communication between Patient and Analyst. Part Three: The Influence of Narcissism on the Analyst's Task. The Narcissistic Omnipotent Character Structure: A Case of Chronic Nypochondriasis. Narcissistic Patients with Negative Therapeutic Reactions. Destructive Narcissism and the Death Instinct. The Problem of Impasse in Psychoanalytic Treatment. Part Four: The Influence of Projective Identification on the Analyst's Task. Projective Identification in Clinical Practice. Projective Identification and the Problem of Containment in a Borderline Psychotic Patient. Further Difficulties in Containing Projective Identification. Projective Identification and the Psychotic Transference in Schizophrenia. Projective Identification and Counter-transference Difficulties in the Course of an Analysis with a Schizophrenic Patient. Part Five: Conclusion. Afterthought: Changing Theories and Changing Techniques in Psychoanalysis. Appendix: on the Treatment of Psychotic States by Psychoanalysis - An Historical Approach. References. Indexes.

About the Series

The New Library of Psychoanalysis

The New Library of Psychoanalysis is published by Routledge Mental Health in association with the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London.

Its purpose is to facilitate a greater and more widespread appreciation of psychoanalysis and to provide a forum for increasing mutual understanding between psychoanalysts and those in other disciplines. The series also aims to make some of the work of continental and other non-English speaking analysts more readily available to English-speaking readers, and to increase the interchange of ideas between British and American analysts.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis published its first book in 1987 under the editorship of David Tuckett, later followed by Elizabeth Bott Spillius, Susan Budd and Dana Birksted-Breen. A considerable number of Associate Editors and readers have assisted the editors.

Under the guidance of Foreign Rights Editors, a considerable number of the New Library books have been published abroad, particularly in Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Peru, Spain and Japan.

The aim of the New Library of Psychoanalysis is to maintain the high level of scholarship of the previous series, to provide a forum for increasing understanding between psychoanalysis and other disciplines and to increase the interest of the general book-reading public in psychoanalysis.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis also aims to help the various schools of psychoanalysis to better understand each other. It has published books representing all three schools of thought in British psychoanalysis, including a particularly important work edited by Pearl King and Riccardo Steiner, expounding the intellectual and organisational controversies that developed in the British psychoanalytical Society between Kleinian, Viennese and 'middle group' analysts during the Second World War.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis has also translated and published several books by Continental psychoanalysts, and it plans in the future to continue the policy of publishing books that express as clearly as possible a variety of psychoanalytic points of view.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health