Barry O’Donnell – Towards the Difference between Neurosis and Psychosis

Issue 40 (Spring 2009) Pages-43-57

This paper recommends that clinicians attempting to differentiate the structures o f neurosis and psychosis take account o f Freud’s thinking on the mental act o f negation, based on his clinical practice, as well as Jacques Lacan’s development o f Freud’s conception. The author argues that this is essential fo r any diagnosis which invokes the notion o f a loss o f a sense of reality.

If in recent years, in other discourses, there has been a loss of confidence in the terms “neurosis” and “psychosis”, their differentiation remains crucial to psychoanalytic practice…..

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