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The aesthetic experience in the process of recovery from autistic states1

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The paper describes the conclusive phase of the psychotherapy of a young man who suffered from Asperger's syndrome. The patient had been referred as an adolescent, at which time he was very isolated and spent most of his life in the company of countless imaginary friends that were quasi-delusional constructs. After several years of therapy, the patient was able to relinquish this fantasy world and his bizarre interests, and become involved and successful in his studies. His emotional development, however, was still stuck. Meltzer's theory of the aesthetic conflict and his ideas concerning the impasse at the threshold of thedepressive position contributed to throwing light on this phase of the psychotherapeutic process, and finally helped the patient to emerge from his upside-down world and begin to acknowledge the value and beauty of intimate relationships.
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Keywords: Asperger's syndrome; Young adulthood; aesthetic experience; end of psychotherapy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Unità di Psicologia Clinica e Psicoanalisi Applicata, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze,University of Naples, ‘Federico II’, Via Sergio Pansini 5Naples, Italy

Publication date: April 1, 2012

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