Journal title RIVISTA SPERIMENTALE DI FRENIATRIA
Author/s Marco Alessandrini, Massimo di Giannantonio
Publishing Year 2013 Issue 2013/3 Language Italian
Pages 19 P. 27-45 File size 355 KB
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In 1958, the German psychiatrist Klaus Conrad (1905-1961) developed the concepts of prodromal psychotic disorders and of early psychosis in his renowned book Die beginnende Schizophrenie (The incipient Schizophrenia). In his stage of beginning schizophrenia he carefully indentifies the laws that govern each phase of a schizophrenic episode using both the phenomenological approach and Gestalt psychology. It is therefore possible to detect the prodromal signs of schizophrenia deriving from a specific, basic psychopathological feature: an underlying characteristic, abnormal alteration of the perceptual field. The person’s attention, in this abnormal kind of perception, is essentially captured by the percept’s expressive qualities (the so called "physiognomic" qualities) and less by the objective or structural properties. As a result, the person loses his/her critical detachment and attributes these alterations to external features of the outside world and not to variations in his/her personal mental state. From this perspective delusion arises primarily out of an altered Gestalt perception, with in parallel the intensification of the affective and expressive properties of the perceived Gestalten. This model, and the psychopathological traits it reveals, can be used to give a more suitable direction to any type of therapy, allowing extremely targeted interventions. Finally, it is possible to relate this approach with the current models, given that Conrad’s thought has a unique clinical and conceptual depth.
Keywords: Klaus Conrad, early psychosis, incipient schizophrenia, Gestalt psychology.
Marco Alessandrini, Massimo di Giannantonio, L’altro volto del mondo: la psicosi nascente secondo Klaus Conrad in "RIVISTA SPERIMENTALE DI FRENIATRIA" 3/2013, pp 27-45, DOI: 10.3280/RSF2013-003003