This presentation will take the form of an informal sharing of thoughts drawn from clinical experience over the years working with psychotic states in patients. These states may be temporary or more prolonged as a result of long-term mental illness. ‘Psychotic’ is just one word, but in my experience these states have many and various forms, some more easy to detect than others, some with obvious symptoms and others that are much more subtle. Mostly such work is slower and sometimes seemingly rather concrete in content, but over time there can be both a gradual and imperceptible building of ego strength with the growing capacity to symbolise and to dream.
Work in this realm can be extremely challenging in requiring the therapist to contain unwieldy feelings and material, and also to accommodate the unexpected. The ‘Two Kinds of Thinking’ refers both to Jung’s writing and to the often constant oscillation between conscious and unconscious material presented to the therapist, including bodily symptoms. Both require attention and attunement, accompanied by ongoing attempts to build bridges between.