for bpf members
Don't Tell Me I'm Normal: Inpatient Psychotherapy of a severely abused patient, with John Glyn
In this paper I describe psychotherapeutic work at the Cassel Hospital with a highly disturbed and challenging patient using a model that is underpinned by psychoanalytic thinking. The aim of the paper is to illustrate the Cassel’s model of treatment, through describing one patient’s journey through it. I place clinical material from her individual psychotherapy alongside her progress within the therapeutic community-type setting, with its psycho-social group emphasis.
The Cassel is often described as a psychoanalytic institution. However far removed the work is from an ordinary psychoanalytic setting, the thinking is psychoanalytic, and the approach is applied psychoanalysis. I view the Cassel as offering itself as a ‘multiple object’, a whole entity comprising of different people and parts, into which the patient can project the parts that they cannot integrate themselves. It is the attempt to bring those projected parts together, in what Tom Main described as a ‘culture of enquiry’, that makes the Cassel innovative and radical, and for many patients highly effective.
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