Center for Rusmiddelforskning

Birgitte Thylstrup

"I am not complaining" - Ambivalence construct in schizoid personality disorder

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  • Center for Rusmiddelforskning

Patients with schizoid personality disorders (SPD) often challenge clinicians because of their seemingly detached and restricted affective behaviour, which may be interpreted as lack of motivation for treatment and lifestyle changes. However, Bleuler indicated the intrapsychic dynamics of ambivalence in schizoid disorder, and it has been discussed in later literature on psychopathology. Schizoid ambivalence refers to contrasting feelings in patients of a seemingly emotionally detached appearance that may curtain an inner, heightened sensitivity and longing for closeness. This article introduces different diagnostic and theoretical descriptions of the ambivalence construct in the schizoid personality disorder. The discussion is elaborated by means of a case example, presenting both the patient's and professionals' points of view on the treatment process. We use the concepts of treatment alliance and countertransference as explanatory models in the discussion of how the schizoid ambivalence may affect the treatment relationship.

TidsskriftAmerican Journal of Psychotherapy
Sider (fra-til)147-167
Antal sider21
StatusUdgivet - 22 dec. 2009

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