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PEP-Web Tip of the Day

The Information icon (an i in a circle) will give you valuable information about PEP Web data and features. You can find it besides a PEP Web feature and the author’s name in every journal article. Simply move the mouse pointer over the icon and click on it for the information to appear.

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Corbett, A. (2014). Psychoanalysis and Severe Handicap: The Hand in the Cap by Angelo Villa. Published by Karnac Books, London, 2013; 170 pp; £22.99 paperback. Brit. J. Psychother., 30(1):123-126.

(2014). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 30(1):123-126

Psychoanalysis and Severe Handicap: The Hand in the Cap by Angelo Villa. Published by Karnac Books, London, 2013; 170 pp; £22.99 paperback

Review by:
Alan Corbett

Who should be allowed to have psychoanalysis? The door to the consulting room is no longer as shut as it once was against those who veered too radically from the classical image of the white, upper-class, male heterosexual analyst. One area of prejudice persists and appears to have as strong a grip as ever on our imagined fears of who we could and should take on as patients. In his latest work Psychoanalysis and Severe Handicap, the Italian psychoanalyst Angelo Villa considers the possibility that patients with severe intellectual disabilities have as equal a right to use analysis as any other minority group. In fact, he is never so tentative as to think of it as merely a ‘possibility’. He takes the admirable step of assuming that the reader shares his belief that to refuse analysis to those with severe disabilities is as irrational as refusing it to those with severely blue eyes.

Locating the lacuna in relation to disability to Freud's (Freud & Breuer, 1895) conflation of it with ‘debility’, Villa traces the questioning that disability could not be worked with analytically to the 1960s and the writing of Mannoni and Dolto.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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