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Mann, D. (1993). The Absent Father in Psychotic Phantasy. Brit. J. Psychother., 9(3):301-309.

(1993). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 9(3):301-309

The Absent Father in Psychotic Phantasy

David Mann

This paper explores the idea that in some psychotic clients their psychosis can be understood as an attempt to form a relationship with an absent father. Some of the literature on the effects of father's absence is discussed and two clients are examined in detail. The conclusion reached is that father's absence is felt by the infant as confirmation of parricidal phantasy. This leads to two processes: (1) the need to make reparation and bring the father back to life and (2) the needs of the psyche to re-establish links with the father in order to achieve psychic homoestasis. Both these processes find expression in psychotic phantasy.

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