The Seed of Madness: Constitution, Environment, and Fantasy in the Organization of the Psychotic Core

The Seed of Madness: Constitution, Environment, and Fantasy in the Organization of the Psychotic Core

by Vamik D. Volkan, Salman Akhtar
     
 

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More and more individuals with ego defects, severe object relations conflicts, affective turbulence, and unassimilated contradictions are seeking help from psychoanalysts and psychotherapists. Contributors to this book explore hereditary and constitutional factors, environmental influences and unconscious fantasies in the development of the psychotic core in such

Overview

More and more individuals with ego defects, severe object relations conflicts, affective turbulence, and unassimilated contradictions are seeking help from psychoanalysts and psychotherapists. Contributors to this book explore hereditary and constitutional factors, environmental influences and unconscious fantasies in the development of the psychotic core in such patients and provide guidance for psychoanalysts and psychotherapists to hear and therapeutically respond to these patients’ uncanny ways of describing their internal worlds.

This volume includes contributions by experienced clinicians from Europe and the United States, as well as case histories illustrating the transformation of the psychotic core and how these patients can develop healthier internal structures. The editors’ introductory and closing summaries integrate knowledge dealing with especially difficult patients. By reading this book, psychoanalysts and therapists will be prepared to gain insights as newer neurobiological and psychological research findings become available and, hopefully, enthusiasm about working with individuals with “the seed of madness.”

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Edward A. Wolpert, MD, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book describes the contribution of constitution, environment (familial and larger society) and fantasy (parental and child) to the formation of a psychotic core that may eventuate in psychosis. Implications for treatment are described. The seven contributors share a common psychoanalytic point of view.
Purpose: The aim is to study the "beginning of madness." In this study, constitutional and psychological factors are studied and integrated into a coherent whole. The resulting summary of current psychoanalytic thinking about the psychotic core is badly needed. The authors meet their aim very well in a series of theoretical chapters fleshed out by the discussion of three case histories.
Audience: This book is written for psychoanalysts, psychologists, and psychiatrists. The authors represent European and American psychoanalytic thinking and are well known for their work.
Features: Appropriate references appear at the end of each chapter. This slim book is neat in appearance and easy to use.
Assessment: This is a highly significant contribution to the psychoanalytic understanding of the formation of the psychotic core. The case histories demonstrate the place of transference phenomena in the treatment of such patients, and the book should be required reading for all those who treat very significantly disturbed patients, whether from a biological or psychological point of view.
4 Stars! from Doody
Edward A. Wolpert
This book describes the contribution of constitution, environment (familial and larger society) and fantasy (parental and child) to the formation of a psychotic core that may eventuate in psychosis. Implications for treatment are described. The seven contributors share a common psychoanalytic point of view. The aim is to study the "beginning of madness." In this study, constitutional and psychological factors are studied and integrated into a coherent whole. The resulting summary of current psychoanalytic thinking about the psychotic core is badly needed. The authors meet their aim very well in a series of theoretical chapters fleshed out by the discussion of three case histories. This book is written for psychoanalysts, psychologists, and psychiatrists. The authors represent European and American psychoanalytic thinking and are well known for their work. Appropriate references appear at the end of each chapter. This slim book is neat in appearance and easy to use. This is a highly significant contribution to the psychoanalytic understanding of the formation of the psychotic core. The case histories demonstrate the place of transference phenomena in the treatment of such patients, and the book should be required reading for all those who treat very significantly disturbed patients, whether from a biological or psychological point of view.
Booknews
Examines psychological components of the formation of madness. Covers the origins of the body ego and its implications for psychotic vulnerability, the intersubjective constitution of the sense of disappearing in schizophrenia, and humility and dignity in ego integrity, with three case studies. Some chapters were originally presented at a June 1994 symposium. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Ira Brenner
"Vamik D. Volkan and Salman Akhtar have brought new vitality to the psychoanalytic study of the psychoses and related disturbances. In this fascinating volume, they have assembled an international team of experts who re-examine the concept of the psychotic core, using a highly sophisticated and carefully crafted lens. The reader is skillfully guided through the maze of developmental, environmental, and neurobiological factors that can go awry to create “The Seed of Madness.” I found this book a very valuable resource in my work with severely regressed patients, and the collected wisdom in these pages has not only opened new doors of understanding, but also points to new areas of exploration."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823660230
Publisher:
International Universities Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
01/28/1997
Pages:
213
Product dimensions:
5.72(w) x 8.79(h) x 0.73(d)

Meet the Author

Vamik D. Volkan is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, an Emeritus Training and Supervising Analyst at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute and the Senior Erik Erikson Scholar at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He was the Medical Director of the University of Virginia's Blue Ridge Hospital and director of the University of Virginia's Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction. He is a past president of the International Society of Political Psychology, the Virginia Psychoanalytic Society, the Turkish-American Neuropsychiatric Association, and the American College of Psychoanalysts. He is also the author or co-author of forty books and the editor or co-editor of ten more. He has served on the editorial boards of sixteen professional journals including the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, and has published more than four hundred scientific papers or book chapters.

Salman Akhtar was born in India and completed his medical and psychiatric education there. Upon arriving in the USA in 1973, he repeated his psychiatric training at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and then obtained psychoanalytic training from the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute. Currently, he is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and a training and supervising analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. He has authored, edited or co-edited more than 300 publications including books on psychiatry and psychoanalysis and several collections of poetry. He is also a Scholar-in-Residence at the InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia. Salman Akhtar received the Sigourney Award in 2012.

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