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Pandolfi, A.M. (1990). G. Schwing. La pazzia e l'amore. Un cammino verso l'anima del malato di mente. Edizioni del Cerro, 1988, 150 pages, 18.000 lire.. Rivista Psicoanal., 36(4):1154-1162.

(1990). Rivista di Psicoanalisi, 36(4):1154-1162

Book Reviews

G. Schwing. La pazzia e l'amore. Un cammino verso l'anima del malato di mente. Edizioni del Cerro, 1988, 150 pages, 18.000 lire. Language Translation

Review by:
Anna Maria Pandolfi

Schwing's work, which is something of a landmark in the history of the psychoanalytic treatment of psychotics, is available to Italian readers thanks to the fruitful and intelligent collaboration between the CERP (Centro Ricerche di Psicoterapia) headed by Dr. Simona Taccani and the Edizioni del Cerro.

Anyone who, for any reason whatsoever, is interested in the treatment of serious psychotic cases, will find the book a fascinating document and an invaluable contribution to their work. The book may be considered an historical document for it deals with the author's personal experience. It reveals that already in the nineteen thirties, Schwing was a nurse endowed with exceptional personal qualities and an analytic training specifically designed to get the best out of her particular talent for dealing with serious cases, and shows how with simplicity and determination she was rapidly able to find the way to the soul of the mentally ill, as the first German edition of 1940 was entitled. The book is an invaluable contribution because it reminds us once again of the terrible fascination, the serious difficulties and dangers of working with the most serious and regressive cases, but it also shows that a possible approach to their therapy does exist, as long as that approach is first and foremost “human” in the literal sense of the term. What we mean by this is that although two people may be in completely different conditions, in spite of this they are drawn together by the fact that they share the undeniable characteristic of being, above all, “human”.

As well as being a nurse, Gertrud Schwing was a psychoanalyst — she was Paul Federn's favourite pupil and collaborator — and she is also acknowledged to be a pioneer of the psychoanalytic psychotherapy of psychoses.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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