The Relevance of Arieti’s Work in the Age of Medication

Abstract

This paper looks at the relevance of psychoanalysis as a treatment option for psychotic individuals at a time when psychosis is invariably considered to be a biologically-based brain disease, for which the preferred course of treatment is psychotropic medication. In recent years, the use of psychoanalysis has declined noticeably in favor of evidenced-based biomedical approaches, which rely heavily upon statistical probabilities for ameliorating specific psychotic symptoms. Well-publicized biological approaches have proliferated, often to the detriment of the psychotic individual’s general health, emotional recovery, and long-term rehabilitation. Sadly, these approaches may also be a significant factor affecting mortality rates in those suffering with psychosis, known to be about 25 years shorter, on average, than the general population.

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Correspondence to Francisco Balbuena Rivera.

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Address correspondence to: Prof. Francisco Balbuena Rivera, C/ Gólgota, nº 8; 2-D, 41007-Seville (Spain).

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Balbuena Rivera, F. The Relevance of Arieti’s Work in the Age of Medication. Am J Psychoanal 76, 266–280 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1057/s11231-016-9044-7

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Keywords

  • Silvano Arieti
  • schizophrenia
  • psychodynamic treatment of psychotic patients
  • mental disorder