Psychotherapy of Psychosis by Chris Mace

Psychotherapy of Psychosis by Chris Mace and Frank Margison (The Royal College of Psychiatrists ) pdf

Psychosis: fact or fiction ?

The conference on which this book is based presented, through a series of contrasting lectures and parallel workshops, several different perspectives on psychosis and its psychotherapy. Participants were encouraged to sample work with which they were less familiar, and not simply consolidate ground they already knew well. It had been assumed that everybody there would use the word ‘psychosis’ in a broadly similar way.

This appeared to be so, most of the patients discussed seeming to be easily classifiable within the framework of the 10th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (World Health Organization, 1992). Although ‘psychosis’ is not used there as a formal category, the term is sprinkled liberally throughout. Patients discussed at the conference would come under rubrics in the chapter on schizophrenia, schizotypal and delusional disorders or one of the affective disorders ‘with psychotic symptoms’.

A few inevitably fall into the confusing territory of ‘emotionally unstable personality disorder – borderline type’. International consensus about terminology is relatively recent, however, and not necessarily fixed in its present form. In examining some trends in the  psychotherapy of psychosis, it is helpful to appreciate some of the different ways in which the term ‘psychosis’ has been used.

Sir Aubrey Lewis (1946) has been credited with saying that psychosis is nothing more than “the doctor’s word for ‘mad’”. However, it has not been doctors’, or anybody else’s, word for ‘mad’ for very long. It was introduced during the last century, once ‘madness’ was already a medical concern. After dignifying this state of affairs with more technical terminology, ‘psychosis’ has been used with more specific, and changing, connotations.

This book brings to a wider audience papers that were presented at the first joint conference of the Association of University Teachers of Psychiatry (AUTP) and the Psychotherapy Section of the Royal College of Psychiatrists at the University of York in 1994.
‘The Psychotherpy of Psychosis’ followed a series of biennial residential conferences, organised by the AUTP since 1982, which had served to bring together psychiatrists and psychotherapists from all parts of the UK.

These had provided a forum for discussion of academic aspects of psychotherapy and an important opportunity for networking among specialists, who were often working in isolation. The 1992 conference ‘Psychotherapy in the Marketplace: Responding to the NHS Reforms’ explored the prblems and challenges confronting psychotherapy in a rapidly changing social and political climate.

Language: English
Format: PDF
Pages: 297