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Representing the irrepresentable. A challenge for psychotherapy in psychoses Volume 85, issue 1, Janvier 2009

Author
Centre médico-psychologique, 16, rue des Mouettes, 74940 Annecy-le-Vieux

The psychopathology of psychosis compares the psychoanalytical theorisation with a strange paradox. The individual suffering from psychosis is considered to be grappling with an irrepresentable mental experience that harasses his mental faculties. Thus, the experience may only be objectively preserved in the psyche as a representation or a mental trace that “presents itself time and again”. The author draws on the hypothesis that it is this “objective” representation subjectively compared with a lack of representation. The “work” behind part of these processes involved in psychosis will provide this objective trace with a status allowing it to be withdrawn from its subjective undecidability. The psychotic issues enable us to consider the mental representations as not a given of the psyche but as the result of a composite work, the very reflexive nature of which is essential.