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Lacan on Psychosis


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Beyond Nous 1 Lacan on Paranoiac Knowledge Jon Mills 2 The Psychosis of Freedom: Law in Modernity Todd McGowan 3 On Ordinary Psychosis Stijn Vanheule 4 Through Symptom into Meaning: The Ethic of Speech in Working with the Psychotic Subject David L. Downing 5 Villemoes' Ego-Structuring Therapy: A Lacanian Treatment Method for Schizophrenia Wilfried Ver Eecke 6 Problems of Femininity in the Psychoanalytical Treatment of Psychotic Women Willy Apollon, Danielle Bergeron, & Lucie Cantin 7 A Lacanian View of the Resolution of an Impasse Charles Turk

About the Author

Jon Mills, PsyD, PhD, ABPP, is a philosopher, psychoanalyst, and clinical psychologist. He is Professor of Psychology and Psychoanalysis at Adler Graduate Professional School, Toronto, and is the author of numerous works. He runs a mental health corporation in Ontario, Canada. David L. Downing, PsyD, ABPP, is a psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist. He is Professor of Psychology at the University of Indianapolis, School of Psychological Sciences. Author of many works, he also maintains a private practice in Illinois and Indiana, USA.


'"Psychosis" is one of those terms which are in need of a precise definition, otherwise it just serves to provide a scientific veneer for some common-sense perception like "losing one's mind." Jacques Lacan was the one who provided such a precise definition-the Verwerfung (rejection, exclusion, suspension) of the name-of-the-father, but the problem is that he went on to propose a series of different definitions, up to the inclusion of the object-cause of desire into reality. This volume edited by Mills and Downing not only sets the record straight by clearly presenting the inner logic of the transformations of Lacan's teaching; it also shows how the notion of psychosis is urgently needed in the psychoanalytic clinic as well as in socio-ideological analysis. Against those who claim that psychosis eludes psychoanalytic treatment, which works only with hysteria and, maybe, perversion, and should thus be left to direct medical interventions like pharmacotherapy, it demonstrates one can also do (and change) psychotic things with words. A classic reference book!'-Slavoj Zizek

'This collection presents a variety of thoughtful interpretations of Lacan's myriad formulations regarding psychosis. The contributing authors propose several different creative approaches to treatment here, all of which contrast sharply with current psychiatric and psychotherapeutic approaches based for the most part on biological models of the brain.'-Bruce Fink

'Clinicians working with Lacanian concepts of psychosis will find the chapters in this collection offering many detailed and varied examples of theory and practice to illustrate this neglected area of treatment. The authors present the challenges and possibilities of applying a speech-based approach to psychotic subjects who struggle with the difficulties of providing meaning and order in their experience of the world.'-Lewis Kirshner, Harvard Medical School; Training and Supervising Analyst, Boston Psychoanalytic Institute, USA

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