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Vergine, A. (2004). Stati caotici della mente. Psicosi, disturbi borderline, disturbi psicosomatici, dipendenze [Chaotic states of the mind. Psychosis, borderline disorders, psychosomatic disorders, dependencies] Edited by Luigi Rinaldi Milan: Cortina. 2003. 350 pp.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(3):783-785.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(3):783-785

Stati caotici della mente. Psicosi, disturbi borderline, disturbi psicosomatici, dipendenze [Chaotic states of the mind. Psychosis, borderline disorders, psychosomatic disorders, dependencies] Edited by Luigi Rinaldi Milan: Cortina. 2003. 350 pp.

Review by:
Adamo Vergine

At the beginning, psychoanalysis had an ambivalent relationship with psychosis: the latter undoubtedly constituted a basic creative stimulus and therefore an object of interest, but also a ‘feared’ clinical area. Despite the fact that Freud's theories displayed a high degree of caution in relation to psychosis, the same cannot be said of his practice. In fact, I believe that today we all agree in considering Freud's clinical cases as serious cases. The difficulties encountered by psychoanalysis during its relationship with this type of pathology have mainly been of an emotional nature and of ethical rigour. In other words, anxiety and guilt, mobilised in these types of experience, led to attributing the emergence of suffering and the possibility of avoiding it to the need for establishing what could be the criteria for a possible analysis. These criteria have always been reassuring only when they were able to envisage, with a sufficient degree of probability, that the experience would have been a ‘good therapeutic relationship’.

This leads one to think that the first difficulty was the abstinence and suspension of judgement which, differently from other sciences, causes painful psychic suspension due to the idea itself that the therapy must be based on the analyst's lack of expectations and consequently also on the analyst not making any hypothetical conjectures. So it is possible to say that the difficulty is linked in the first place to the analyst's capacity for tolerance or emotional competence, rather than to his theoretical competence.

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