Date: 26 June 2010
10am - 12.30pm
Chair: David Hewison
In this paper, I try to explore ways in which thinking about the function and meaning of skin can deepen our understanding of the development of the psyche and inform our work with psychotic, schizoid, borderline and hysterical states of mind. Rosenfeld, Britton and others have described different ways in which the mental processes of ‘thick’ and ‘thin skinned’ patients directly impact upon the counter transference and, in so doing, provide an opportunity to enhance the treatment of narcissistic disorders. This impact is reconsidered in the light of Jungian thinking and in relation to working with psychotic disorders. Some of the patients suffering from schizophrenia, with whom I have worked, make delusional identifications with archetypal figures such as Christ, John Lennon and Madonna. Through clinical examples, I attempt to show how the adoption of these archetypal ‘second skins’ can serve as defences of the self, preserving life until internal and external conditions allow for the possibility of the self to emerge.
Martin Schmidt is a Professional Member of The SAP working mainly in private practice in London and also as a psychologist in a mental health rehabilitation project for people recovering from severe and enduring psychiatric illnesses. He lectures and supervises widely and, for the past five years, has been a visiting supervisor on the I.A.A.P programme in Moscow.
David Hewison is a Professional Member of The SAP and Reader in couple psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships. He has a private practice of individual analysis, couple psychotherapy, and supervision in North London.
Venue: The Society of Analytical Psychology
Cost: £25 including coffee
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