Engaging with psychosis: A psychodynamic developmental approach to social dysfunction and withdrawal in psychosis

Conway, Paula (2014) Engaging with psychosis: A psychodynamic developmental approach to social dysfunction and withdrawal in psychosis. Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches, 6 (4). pp. 313-326. ISSN Paper 1752-2439; Online 1752-2447

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Engaging and sustaining constructive relationships with people affected by psychosis is a challenge for clinicians, services and carers. Social dysfunction, withdrawal, negativity and hopelessness are inherent and intractable features of psychosis. We propose that the social difficulties experienced by people affected by psychosis can be addressed through the psychodynamic identification of a psychotic part of mind. In this view, people vulnerable to psychosis are affected by problems that originated during their early psychosocial development. This results in an encapsulation of omnipotent processes, which are a normal and necessary part of infant and child development; however, using these omnipotent processes in adulthood compromises social functioning. Drawing on clinical examples from our work in psychosocial recovery services, we demonstrate how the impact of the psychotic part of mind is expressed in ‘negative omnipotence’ and ‘ethical reversals’, and how ‘diplomatic interventions’ can help sustain engagement and improve psychosocial outcomes for people with psychosis.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online, 27 Nov 2014
Uncontrolled Keywords: Psychosis, Triangulation, Psychotic Part, Negative Omnipotence, Ethical Reversals, Diplomatic Intervention
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Development
Disabilities & Disorders (mental & physical) > Psychoses
Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Psychodynamics
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/960

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