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Lombardi, R. (2005). On the Psychoanalytic Treatment of a Psychotic Breakdown. Psychoanal Q., 74(4):1069-1099.

(2005). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 74(4):1069-1099

On the Psychoanalytic Treatment of a Psychotic Breakdown

Riccardo Lombardi, M.D.

The author discusses the four-session-a-week psychoanalysis of a patient in psychotic breakdown with outbursts of violence. The analyst's first appearance in the transference was as a “rattle” (the noise made by his shifting in his chair), which constituted undeniable evidence of corporality—first the analyst's and then the patient's—leading eventually to the awareness of there being two separate persons in the psychoanalytic relationship. This case highlights the analyst's need to function in a particular way, and to allow him- or herself to be used in a particular way, in working with very disturbed patients, where issues of the body–mind relationship and of separation from the other are often central to the analytic work.

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