Psychotic symptomatology and the nature of subjective meaning

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Duerden, Zoe
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this research is to look at psychotic symptomatology and examine the symptoms subjective nature. The research considered the nature of the symptom in two different ways. Firstly, in relation to Freud’s notion that every symptom contains an element of historical truth (Freud, 1937-1939/2001, p. 269), a so called ‘kernel of truth’. Secondly through the perspective of Lacan’s (1938) Family Complexes in the Formation of the Individual Paper; in particular, the Oedipal Complex and the paternal metaphor in the determination of psychic structure. These are examined using specific examples from the analysis of the Schreber Case amongst others. The findings of the research showed that while the symptom contains an element of truth it does not necessarily reflect the meaning. The meaning can be seen to underlie the symptom which has been constructed to help the individual make sense of a reality where at a crucial point in psychical development something has failed, the paternal metaphor. Author keywords: Psychosis, symptom, meaning