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Fink, G. (1967). Meeting of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York. Psychoanal Q., 36:638-639.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:638-639

Meeting of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York

Geraldine Fink

DISCUSSION: After summarizing Dr. Frank's views, Dr. Judith Kestenberg agreed that the primary disorder in schizophrenia is likely to be an increased permeability in impulse conduction. Further, she agreed that schizophrenia is an organic disorder, arresting and distorting development in children and breaking down previous development in adults. However, she does not envision this breakdown as a 'maturational lag'. She suggested dividing the regressophrenics into defectively cured schizophrenics and psychogenic disorders which simulate schizophrenia. She agreed that regressophrenics differ from schizophrenics in that the ego apparatus remains unimpaired, and that they are phobic about their regressive tendencies and suffer from object and affect hunger. The schizophrenic-like symptomatology is a hysterical identification with the psychotic mother. The regressophrenic uses mechanisms that resemble those of a five to ten-month-old child. However, an adult schizophrenic can only resemble a deviant, disturbed infant, never a normal one.

Dr. Max Schur emphasized the prognostic importance of the diagnosis of psychotic-like states which arise from identification with psychotic parents. He gave three examples of such patients, one from an unpublished vignette in Freud's correspondence with Fliess.

In conclusion, Dr. Frank agreed with Dr. Kestenberg that, though important, maturational lag and scatter is not a sufficient explanation of the etiology of schizophrenia.

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