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Blatt, S.J. Wild, C.M. Ritzler, B.A. (1975). Disturbances of Object Representations in Schizophrenia. Psychoanal. Contemp. Sci., 4(1):235-288.

(1975). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Science, 4(1):235-288

Disturbances of Object Representations in Schizophrenia

Sidney J. Blatt, Ph.D., Cynthia M. Wild, Ph.D. and Barry A. Ritzler, Ph.D.

The basic hypothesis of this paper is that schizophrenia can best be understood as a consequence of impairment in the very early development of object representations. Concepts from psychoanalysis and from developmental cognitive psychology are reviewed and integrated in a formulation of the early development of object relations and object representations and their impairment in schizophrenia. A review of the psychoanalytic and experimental research literature offers considerable support for the formulation that schizophrenia involves a fundamental disturbance in the early development of representations. Implications of these findings for therapy with borderline and schizophrenic patients are considered.

I. Introduction

There has been increasing concern about the gap between the theoretical superstructure of psychoanalysis—its metapsychology— and clinical psychoanalysis.

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