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Encounters With Psychosis

The Psychoanalytic Quarterly

Published online on


This essay offers a personal account of one physician's attempt to engage with psychotic patients in an inner‐city hospital. It considers some of the obstacles to psychoanalytic work with psychotic patients, including anxiety in the psychotherapist, anxiety in the patient, institutional resistances, and paradigmatic errors. A discussion of paradigmatic errors in Western mental health care is expanded upon. Rorty's () critique of objectivity and Kuhn's () work on scientific paradigm shifts are discussed in an attempt to demonstrate how we might better understand psychosis as an illness and connect with patients across the entire diagnostic spectrum.