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Rosser, R. (1979). The Psychopathology of Feeling and Thinking in a Schizophrenic. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 60:177-188.

(1979). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 60:177-188

The Psychopathology of Feeling and Thinking in a Schizophrenic

Rachel Rosser


This paper describes the process and technique of brief analytic psychotherapy with a 22-year-old schizophrenic man who was treated twice weekly for ten months and then followed up for two years.

During therapy, re-integration occurred in his affective and cognitive processes. Despite his subjective experience of loss of the capacity for thought and for verbal and non-verbal communication, he had an unusual ability for conveying the stages by which he moved from total confusion and thought disorder to normal intellectual functioning, and for understanding the connections between his various experiences.

Four phases of therapy are defined: a phase of disintegration and undifferentiation lasting six weeks, a phase of depression lasting for five weeks, a phase of multiple feelings lasting for fourteen weeks, and a phase of self-sustained development, starting in the twenty-fifth week and continuing beyond the end of therapy. The patient identified two major types of divisions between thinking, feeling and acting parts of himself and between masculine and feminine parts. Insight into these divisions helped him to understand disorders in his perception of time, and in thinking, remembering and using words and other symbols.

His descriptions are presented here in the hope that they may throw light on the difficulties of similar, but less articulate, patients.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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