IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

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interplay between three superimposed communicative circuits: two intrapsychic ones (the patient’s and the analyst’s) and the interpersonal circuit created between them. In his book Communication in psychoanalytic therapy (1962) Liberman makes use of Jurgen Ruesch’s contributions in order to classify the different types of ‘personae’ according to the way they communicate with their interlocutors. He enumerates and correlates them firstly with O. Fenichel’s (1945) classical nomenclature, and then with his own future systematizations, as in the following tables:

Ruesch ’ s nomenclature

O. Fenichel ’ s nomenclature

An outgoing person

Conversion hysteria (hysterical character)

A fearful, a ‘flight’ person

Anxiety hysteria (phobic character)

A logical person

Obsessive neurosis (obsessive character)

A person of action

Psychopathic personality (perversions and compulsions) Cyclothymic disorder, neurotic depression and cyclical psychosis

A depressive person

An observing, non-participant person Schizoid disorder, schizophrenia

An infantile person

Organ neurosis (psychosomatic illnesses)

Liberman proceeds further to combine Ruesch and Fenichel with the phases of development of the libido (Freud, 1905, 1933; Abraham, 1924) with paranoid and depressive anxieties (M. Klein, 1952), thereby drawing the following outline in order to describe the prevailing affects in each clinical picture (Liberman, D. 1962, p. 130):


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