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Stanghellini, G. (2009). Forme del delirio e psicopatologia [Forms of Madness and Psychopathology] by Mario Rossi Monti Cortina, Milano, 2008; 268 pp; €19.80. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 90(2):420-422.

(2009). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 90(2):420-422

Forme del delirio e psicopatologia [Forms of Madness and Psychopathology] by Mario Rossi Monti Cortina, Milano, 2008; 268 pp; €19.80

Review by:
Giovanni Stanghellini

This book by Mario Rossi Monti, who teaches Clinical Psychology at the University of Urbino, has as its main strength the way it combines a psychodynamic approach with that of phenomenological psychopathology. The two disciplines are brought together, overcoming potential prejudices and ideological conflicts, to illuminate the experience of psychotic people.

The book discusses madness (in the first five chapters) and also psychopathology (in the last two chapters). In the sixth and seventh chapters, two fundamental methodological issues are addressed. The first is the alternation, in clinical practice, between the concept of treating the patient that ‘has something (an illness)’ and the alternative approach of ‘being with someone’. There is the objectifying clinical view which focuses on the illness, and then there is the attitude which sees the encounter with the patient as a person as being the key aspect of the work. The other topic addressed in these chapters is the problem of diagnosis in its two antithetical forms: the type which takes an ‘instant picture’ of the problem, leaving aside the patient's history, versus the type of diagnosis which is made over a period of time, seeking to understand the patient's psychopathological and existential journey in full.

The successful integration of the two disciplinary approaches - psychodynamic and psychopathological-phenomenological - that characterizes these essays is seen in many parts of the work.

[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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