The purpose of the Whurr series in Psychoanalysis edited by Peter Fonagy and Mary Target of University College London, is to publish clinical and research based texts of academic excellence in the field. Each title makes a significant contribution and the series is open--ended. The readership is academic and graduate students in psychoanalysis, together with clinical practitioners, in Europe, North America and indeed worldwide. This book brings together a number of international writers who are concerned with understanding and treating psychoses. The orientation of the book is psychoanalytic, but it is also cognisant of the need for a multi--disciplinary approach to these disorders for which there remains no comprehensive cure. One of the greatest obstacles clinicians and patients face lies less in our ignorance than in failure by mental health services to integrate existing knowledge into workable treatment plans. Too often clinical disciplines (psychiatry, psychoanalysis, clinical psychology, neuropsychology, nursing etc.) work separately rather than together, employing languages that are mutually incomprehensible.
As a result, patients are unlikely to have their different needs properly met. At the heart of the multi--disciplinary approach lies the therapeutic relationship between patient and psychoanalyst, psychodynamically--minded psychiatrist or psychotherapist. Detailed clinical cases are presented together with contemporary conceptualisations of psychotic states.