The "Psychotic Wavelength" by the late Dr. Richard Lucas is a book that provides an accessible way (in a clear language with limited use of jargon) of using psychoanalytic concepts in general psychiatry, more specifically in the understanding and treatment of patients of the psychotic spectrum (including Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder). The core idea of this work is that psychodynamic ideas and way of listening to the patient can be of an enormous relevance when clinicians are facing a psychotic state. Dr. Lucas argues that when listening to a person with a psychotic disorder one should try to understand if we are in contact with the psychotic or non-psychotic part of the personality (an idea previously developed by Wilfred Bion), trying to establish an emotional contact with the patient in order to have a positive therapeutic relationship.
The book provides a high quality theoretical framework, clinical discussions and plenty of interesting clinical vignettes that help to understand clearly Dr. Lucas ideas.
The book is divided in 5 parts:
1 - The Case for a Psychoanalytic Perspective on Psychosis 2 - A Review of Psychoanalytic Theories about Psychosis 3 - The Psychotic Wavelength 4 - The Psychotic Wavelength in Affective Disorders 5 - The Implications for Management and Education
This book is essential to all those working with persons suffering from psychotic disorders (both psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, psychotherapists, psychoanalysts, mental health managers and also family members and other carers). It will provide a fantastic starting point for students and junior staff members, and an opportunity to review concepts for those more experienced, being very helpful in the effort to bridge the current gap between psychiatry and psychoanalysis.
In short, Dr. Lucas provides a strong demonstration of the psychoanalytic contribution to the undestanding and treatment of psychotic disorders and indulges us with an excellent book.