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.