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Kanter, J.S. (1984). Resocialization in Schizophrenia: Renegotiating the Latency Era. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 11:43-59.

(1984). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 11:43-59

Resocialization in Schizophrenia: Renegotiating the Latency Era

Joel S. Kanter


This paper describes how adult schizophrenic patients utilized a day treatment setting to renegotiate critical latency-era tasks that they had failed to resolve because of massive developmental arrests in earlier periods. These tasks involve the development of ego skills and defences which enable the child to interact more harmoniously with the extrafamilial social environment. While individual psychotherapy and psychoanalysis lend themselves to a reworking of emotionally intense parent-child dramas from pre-oedipal, oedipal and adolescent periods, the remediation of deficits from the latency era is especially facilitated by a schoolroom-sized group milieu which encourages fantasy and play.

Beginning with a review of development in latency, this paper describes how themes from this period emerged in the communication and behaviour of day treatment patients. Focusing on the progressive nature of this phenomena as indicative of a transitional defensive structure between schizoid withdrawal and mature functioning, technical issues regarding this treatment approach are then discussed. This approach highlights the major sublimatory refinements of this era for expression of drives and affects; such refinements juxtapose the repressive processes which are more commonly noted in latency.

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