In this book, Salomon Resnik describes his psychoanalytic work with psychotic patients and the logic that underlies their often-delusional constructions
He explores how the concept of psychosis has evolved over time and shows how the delusional world, with its proto-symbolic equations, may amount to a philosophy of life. Clinical examples taken from his own clinical work, both in individual psychoanalysis and in group therapy with schizophrenic patients, illustrate his theses. In his exploration of the psychotic ego and multi-dimensionality, he shows how his work is a continuation of the ideas initially put forward by psychoanalysts such as D. W. Winnicott, Melanie Klein and Hanna Segal, as well as how much it owes to his own analysis with Herbert Rosenfeld and supervision with Wilfred Bion. For Resnik, working with psychotic patients amounts to an "archaeology of the present". He discusses in detail such concepts as narcissistic depression, the atmosphere of the psychoanalytic encounter, the role and impact of dreams in psychosis, and the dimensionality of the psychotic universe. His development of the idea of maternal (holding function) and paternal reverie, with its organizing and structuring function, is ground-breaking, and his comments on Fairbairn's description of the early splitting of the ego throw a new light on hysterical phenomena in the psychoses.