The Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 264-278

First online:

Hostility and psychotic symptoms

  • Felix CohenAffiliated withBedford Veterans Administration Hospital

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The view that schizophrenic symptoms are an attempt to keep in a latent form certain intensely hostile impulses, is examined in this study. It is supported by experiences gained in intensive, individual, analytically-oriented psychotherapy with six schizophrenic patients.

The principles governing therapy and the relevant case history data are described.

The patterns of response which recurred regularly during therapy and were considered significant are noted as follows:

Particularly severe, hostile feelings appeared progressively as the symptoms seen in the early interviews receded with therapy.

When the symptoms reappeared prominently during therapy, the overt hostility diminished.

After hostility became overt and dissipated within the therapeutic situation, the symptoms were lessened considerably.