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Parish, M. (2015). Catch Them Before They Fall: The Psychoanalysis of Breakdown, by Christopher Bollas, Routledge, London and New York, 2013, 152pp.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 75(2):232-234.

(2015). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 75(2):232-234

Catch Them Before They Fall: The Psychoanalysis of Breakdown, by Christopher Bollas, Routledge, London and New York, 2013, 152pp.

Review by:
Margaret Parish, Ph.D.

Sometimes a person in psychoanalytic therapy has an experience that precipitates a psychological breakdown, in which the competence and coherence of their sense of self begins to unravel. In Catch Them Before They Fall: The Psychoanalysis of Breakdown, Christopher Bollas evocatively describes patients entering into this distressing but potentially transformative state. His central point is that breakdown, if met with psychoanalysis, can become an important break-through. If it is deflected with drugs, hospitalization, or cognitive homework, it is more likely to result in a permanently “broken self” (p. 13), one that is detached, resigned, “indifferent to their life,” (p. 16), and inaccessible to further analysis.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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