Do psychotic disorders make sense? Are psychotic symptoms amenable to interpretation? Psychoanalytic clinicians and scholars have outlined theoretical and therapeutic pathways to psychotic illnesses. In Understanding Psychosis: A Psychoanalytic Approach, these pathways are integrated into a genuine factor model that allows us to systematically assess the relevant psychodynamic dimensions in the diagnosis of psychotic disorders, which serves as a guide to psychotherapy with psychotically ill patients.
For more than a century, psychoanalysis has contributed widely to an understanding of psychotic experience and dynamics. This book reviews and integrates the various concepts into a multi-dimensional psychodynamic model that allows us to assess and understand the patient’s subjective experience, objective psychological capabilities, and interpersonal resources. It helps the therapist to find a basic attitude in working psychodynamically with psychotic patients and to understand the dynamics of the therapeutic relationship. Specific issues addressed include: understanding imminent crises or precursor states, elucidating semiotic qualities in seemingly negative symptoms, differentiating the psychotic and a non-psychotic part of the personality, providing a dynamic approach to the psychopharmacological treatment.
Understanding Psychosis will be of great use to psychiatrists, psychotherapists and psychoanalysts. It will also appeal to psychologists and postgraduate students and academics in the fields of psychotherapy, psychiatry and psychoanalysis for psychosis.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Psychiatry, Psychopathology and Psychodynamics. Psychoanalytic Theories about Psychosis. Conditions of Psychotic Experience: A psychodynamic factor model. Psychotherapeutic Work with Psychotic Patients. Participation in Psychotherapy – Conclusion.
About the Author
Joachim Küchenhoff, MD, is a psychoanalyst and member of the IPA and of the Swiss and German psychoanalytic societies. He is also a specialist in psychiatry/psychotherapy and in psychosomatic medicine and Professor at Basel University, Switzerland. He has been working as the medical director of the department of adult psychiatry in the canton Baselland, Switzerland, since 2007. He is editor-in-chief of the SANP (Swiss Archives of Neurology, Psychiatry and Psychotherapy). He is president of the supervisory board at IPU (International Psychoanalytic University) Berlin and member of many other advisory boards. He has written 13 academic books and in addition he has edited 19 academic volumes. He has contributed more than 300 scientific publications.