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Kafka, B. (2020). Meaning and melancholia: Life in the age of bewilderment: by Christopher Bollas, London and New York, Routledge, 2018, 142 pp., $19.95. ISBN 978-1138497535. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 101(2):406-410.

(2020). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 101(2):406-410

Meaning and melancholia: Life in the age of bewilderment: by Christopher Bollas, London and New York, Routledge, 2018, 142 pp., $19.95. ISBN 978-1138497535

Review by:
Ben Kafka

In recent years Christopher Bollas, one of our most creative and influential theorists, has turned his attention to the most severe cases. In Catch Them Before They Fall: The Psychoanalysis of Breakdown (2013), he described the treatment he offers analysands in crisis, working with them twice a day, seven days a week, or eight or nine hours a day, several days in a row. He argued that such interventions reduce the risk of the breakdown becoming “structuralized” within the patient’s personality. In When the Sun Bursts: The Enigma of Schizophrenia (2015), he described his work with schizophrenic patients over the years. Here, too, he made the case for the importance of interventions well beyond the classical frame, though not without classical precedents.

[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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