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Jackson, M. (1985). A Psycho-Analytical Approach to the Assessment of a Psychotic Patient. Psychoanal. Psychother., 1(2):11-22.

(1985). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 1(2):11-22

A Psycho-Analytical Approach to the Assessment of a Psychotic Patient

Murray Jackson

When approached from a psycho-analytic point of view, psychotic states reveal a wide variety of patterns. Some of these are so complex and so rigid in their organisation as to render the patient quite unsuitable for formal psychotherapy. Others are more benign and accessible to a psycho-analytic approach.

The attempt to assess whether a psychotic patient might benefit from psycho-analytic psychotherapy can be facilitated by the use of certain psycho-analytic concepts which provide “ground rules” for decoding psychotic communication, for understanding the psychotic patient's experience and how it has come about.

This paper represents an attempt to show how the psychoanalytic approach to such understanding can help in the management of the case and open the way for psycho-analytic psychotherapy within the N.H.S. Although extremely limited in its provision of skilled psychotherapy, the N.H.S. provides an extremely rich potential for effective understanding, care and treatment of the psychotic patient if the psycho-analytic approach is sufficiently well understood and implemented.

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