Theoretical Evolutions in Person-Centered/Experiential Therapy: Applications to Schizophrenic and Retarded Psychoses

Theoretical Evolutions in Person-Centered/Experiential Therapy: Applications to Schizophrenic and Retarded Psychoses

Theoretical Evolutions in Person-Centered/Experiential Therapy: Applications to Schizophrenic and Retarded Psychoses

Theoretical Evolutions in Person-Centered/Experiential Therapy: Applications to Schizophrenic and Retarded Psychoses

Synopsis

Clinical practice with severely retarded and psychotic clients requires a change in theory and technique. Based on original research and practice, Prouty describes the changes needed to reach "low-functioning" clients not generally accessible to psychotherapy. Evolving from Carl Rogers' assertion that "Psychological Contact" is the first condition of a therapeutic relationship, Pre-Therapy is a technique that can be applied to regressed psychotics and dual-diagnosed mentally-retarded patients, as well as to other poorly integrated populations. Drawing from his own practice with extreme clients, he shows how Pre-Therapy can be used to facilitate these "pre-conditions" of therapy. He further shows that treatment of hallucinations reveals them to be expressions of deep trauma and profound rendings of the self-structure.

Excerpt

By developing Pre-Therapy and Pre-Symbolic processing, Garry Prouty has defined existentially relevant distinctions suited for the interpretation of the incomprehensible communicative behavior of severely withdrawn people. Prouty uses these distinctions to reach severely disturbed patients (autistic and chronic schizophrenics, mentally retarded patients with psychotic symptoms) by way of elementary communication channels. When starting his highly original search for contact with these persons, he probably did not realize that he was also lining up in a respectable tradition. Indeed, Manfred Bleuler (1991: 2-3) witnesses:

Eugene Bleuler's concept of schizophrenic psychoses was based first on his experience between 1886 and 1898 . . . in the "Island Clinic of Rheinau." . . . His main endeavor was to be close to his patients; working with them, playing and walking with them, even organizing dancing parties with them. . . . It was in Rheinau that he realized that schizophrenics could not be "demented."

In fact, Prouty offers a therapeutic systematization of the clinically well-known "rare, but remarkable reversal of profoundly chronic and severe psychotic/deficit states after years of illness . . ."

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