The Psychotic Wavelength: A Psychoanalytic Perspective for Psychiatry (Paperback) book cover

The Psychotic Wavelength

A Psychoanalytic Perspective for Psychiatry

By Richard Lucas

© 2010 – Routledge

356 pages

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About the Book

The Psychotic Wavelength provides a psychoanalytical framework for clinicians to use in everyday general psychiatric practice and discusses how psychoanalytic ideas can be of great value when used in the treatment of seriously disturbed and disturbing psychiatric patients with psychoses, including both schizophrenia and the affective disorders.

In this book Richard Lucas suggests that when clinicians are faced with psychotic patients, the primary concern should be to make sense of what is happening during their breakdown. He refers to this as tuning into the psychotic wavelength, a process that allows clinicians to distinguish between, and appropriately address, the psychotic and non-psychotic parts of the personality. He argues that if clinicians can find and identify the psychotic wavelength, they can more effectively help the patient to come to terms with the realities of living with a psychotic disorder.

Divided into five parts and illustrated throughout with illuminating clinical vignettes, case examples and theoretical and clinical discussions, this book covers:

  • the case for a psychoanalytical perspective on psychosis
  • a historical overview of psychoanalytical theories for psychosis
  • clinical evidence supporting the concept of a psychotic wavelength
  • the psychotic wavelength in affective disorders
  • implications for management and education.

The Psychotic Wavelength is an essential resource for anyone working with disturbed psychiatric patients. It will be of particular interest to junior psychiatrists and nursing staff and will be invaluable in helping to maintain treatment aims and staff morale. It will also be useful for more experienced psychiatrists and psychoanalysts.

Table of Contents

Minne, Preface. Part I: Making the Case for a Psychoanalytic Perspective on Psychosis. Introduction. The Medical Model. Controversial Issues in Psychosis. Part II: Psychoanalytic Theories about Psychosis: A Selective Review. Freud's Contributions to Psychosis. The Kleinian Contribution to Psychosis. Bion and Psychosis. A Contemporary Freudian Perspective on Psychosis. The Psychoanalytic Treatment of Schizophrenia: Lessons from Chestnut Lodge. The Divided Self: Evaluating R. D. Laing's Contribution to Thinking about Psychosis. Part III: Tuning into The Psychotic Wavelength. Differentiating Psychotic Processes from Psychotic Disorders. The Psychotic Wavelength. Dreams and Delusions. Utilising the Countertransference in Psychosis. Part IV: The Psychotic Wavelength in Affective Disorders. Why the Cycle in a Clinical Psychosis? Puerperal Psychosis: Vulnerability and Aftermath. Managing Depression – Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Antidepressants or Both? Part V: Implications for Management and Education. Developing an Exoskeleton. Destructive Attacks on Reality and the Self. The Role of Psychotherapy in Reducing the Risk of Suicide in Affective Disorders: A Case Study. Education in Psychosis. Psychoanalytic Attitudes to General Psychiatry and Psychosis.

About the Author

Richard Lucas was a consultant psychiatrist at St Ann's Hospital, London. He was also a fellow at the Royal College of Psychiatrists and a member of the British Psychoanalytical Society. In 2003 he received an OBE for his services. This is his only book.

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:
PSY026000
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis
PSY036000
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health