Understanding the psychodynamics of madness is essential to the therapy of most patients, including those who are not diagnosed as mad in the literal sense. This volume draws on Freud, Jung, recent object relation and self psychologies, and, particularly, the work of Winnicott, Bion and Elkin. It describes and critiques the basic ideas on the dynamics of psychoses and provides a framework for interpretation.
This book is a rich phenomenological and psychodynamic exploration of the mad dimension of life, a discussion which has both breadth and depth. Eigen must certainly rank amongst the foremost of contemporary analytic therapists and theorists who are making significant steps in furthering our understanding of madness. Any clinician who has ever attempted to understand the thoughts and experiences of psychotic patients will find much that is illuminating and well described in this book.
Phil Mollon in British Journal of Psychiatry An extraordinary book. Reading The Psychotic Core not only becomes an excursion through the (universal) elements of psychosis, but evolves into an encounter with the psychotic process itself. Eigen is, however, fundamentally a psychoanalyst in his approach and method, and his analytic view constitutes both a framework for interpretation and a mode of knowing.
By listening to psychosis, by understanding its presence, by looking at (and interpreting) its symbolizations, we enhance our knowledge of what it means to live in a historical project that finds itself affected by periodic eruptions of a cultural and political madness. James M. Glass in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (This book) is one of the finest treatises I have ever read on the subject.
It is solidly clinical and pragmatic on one hand, and yet it is a piece of exquisite, artistic phenomenology on the other. Eigens concept of madness elegantly spans what we ordinarily mean by borderline states as well as the formal psychotic states. The work is a very creatively integrative one.
The pigments on his palette include Freud, Jung, Bion, Winnicott, and many others. James Grotstein in Psychotherapy & Social Science Review (Previously published 1993 by Jason Aronson Inc)