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Pazzagli, A. (2006). Delusion, Narrative, and Affects. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 34(2):367-376.

(2006). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 34(2):367-376

Delusion, Narrative, and Affects

Adolfo Pazzagli, M.D.

Delusions and narrations have very different communicative characteristics. Delusion, when reported, places itself outside of a shared communication, of an interactive field; it is presented as an absolute, non-modifiable, saturated truth, that can only be believed or refuted. A clinical vignette is an example on the possibility that psychoanalytic treatments might be sometime able to at least partly transform a delusion into an account narrated in an interactive situation. The possibility of treatment of a delusion by means of psychotherapy, which deals both with the delusion as a symptom and with the structures underlying it, by creating a relationship whose development can leave the person free to shed his or her delusion, should caution us against too hastily declaring that symptom inaccessible and thus considering it-as not infrequently happens -a sort of “marker” denoting a pathology which, from a psychological perspective, cannot be treated.

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