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Searles, H.F. (2013). Scorn, Disillusionment and Adoration in the Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia. Psychoanal. Rev., 100(2):337-359.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Review, 100(2):337-359

Scorn, Disillusionment and Adoration in the Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia

Harold F. Searles, M.D.

This paper is designed primarily to portray the role, in the psychotherapy of schizophrenia, of three interrelated feeling-states—scorn, disillusionment, and adoration. Their relation to the etiology of the illness will also be highlighted. In focusing upon the vicissitudes of these particular emotions, I do not imply that other affective states are of lesser importance in the etiology and psychotherapy of schizophrenia; but the interesting connections among these affects, in regard to both ego-development and adult-life ego-functioning, have come to constitute, for me at least, one more useful source of illumination of this complex illness. I must explain further, at the outset, that the psychodynamics to be spelled out here are not considered—except in a few regards which should be obvious enough—as confined to, and specific for, schizophrenia. Rather, I regard these psychodynamics as being at work, in varying degrees of affective intensity and psychopathological significance, in psychosis and neurosis in general, and I shall give considerable attention, here, to the role of these emotions in healthy personality-development.

Early in my work at Chestnut Lodge, I came to see that scorn holds a far more formidable place in the psychodynamics of schizophrenia than the literature concerning this illness would lead one to expect.

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