Psychodynamic Mechanisms Of Capgras Phenomenon



The paper focuses on the psychodynamic mechanisms of Capgras phenomenon, a rare and insufficiently studied mental disorder, which has not been paid much attention to in clinical psychology and psychiatry up to the present. Despite the fact that the phenomenon was described in 1923 it has not been properly studied yet, though it is widely spread in psychiatric and psychotherapeutic practice. The most important issue at present is to understand the underlying psychodynamic mechanisms, which can make psychotherapeutic work more effective. The paper contains several clinic cases, which can facilitate understanding of psychic peculiarities of patients suffering from the syndrome. Emphasis is put on the necessity to reveal the syndrome’s causes and the resources hidden in the unconscious as a potential possibility to overcome Capgras phenomenon.

General Information

Keywords: Capgras phenomenon, autistic feelings, object identification, substituted object, dissociation, transference, countertransference, dissociative subidentities

Journal rubric: Case study

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Korolenko C.P., Dmitrieva N.V., Levina L.V. Psychodynamic Mechanisms Of Capgras Phenomenon. Konsul'tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2017. Vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 109–116. DOI: 10.17759/cpp.2017250108. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Cezar P. Korolenko, Doctor of Medicine, Professor, Professor, Psychiatry Department, Federal State Educational Institution of Higher Education «Novosibirsk State Medical University», Russia, e-mail:

Natalia V. Dmitrieva, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Pedagogics and Psychology of Deviant Behaivior Department, Saint Petersburg State Institute of Psychology and Social work, St.Petersburg, Russia, e-mail:

Larisa V. Levina, PhD in Psychology, Researcher, Institute of Clinical Psychology, Independent non-Commercial organization of additional professional education Novosibirsk Institute of Clinical Psychology, e-mail:



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