chapter  Eight
9 Pages

Boundaries and difficulties in assessment

ByPhilip Hewitt

One of the stated aims of the British Association of Psychotherapists is "to promote the practice of psychotherapy so as to bring it within reach of a wider section of the community" (GeneralInformation Leaflet). The search for meaning in psychosis is stressed as attempts to help patients whose lives are threatened with meaninglessness save for a formidable armoury of clinical classifications and pharmacology. The therapist carefully guards inner knowledge about the universality of unconscious life, for fear of foreclosing the patient's wish to reveal his inner world. At the same time, the therapist, who cannot conceive of conscious life without unconscious life, hopes to re-connect to this claim upon which psychoanalytic theory rests. Beginnings are manifold in their complexity and variation. Often a person coming to an assessment has never spoken to a psychotherapist before and does not know what to expect.