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Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 2075-3470

ISSN (online): 2311-9446


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 1992

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal


Psychodynamic Mechanisms Of Capgras Phenomenon 1194


Korolenko C.P.
Professor, Psychiatry Department, Federal State Educational Institution of Higher Education «Novosibirsk State Medical University», Novosibirsk, Russia

Dmitrieva N.V.
Pedagogics and Psychology of Deviant Behaivior Department, Saint Petersburg State Institute of Psychology and Social work

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

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.

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

Column: Case study


For Reference

  1. Dmitrieva N.V., Korolenko Ts.P., Kozyreva T.S. Psikhologicheskie osobennosti lits s sindromom Myunkhauzena [Psychological peculiarities of people suffering from Munchausen Syndrome]. Mir nauki, kul’tury, obrazovaniya [World of Science, Cul- ture, and Education], 2013, no. 3 (40), pp. 184—187.
  2. Korolenko Ts.P., Dmitrieva N.V. Psikhoanaliz i psikhiatriya [Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry]. Novosibirsk: Izdatel’stvo NGPU, 2003. 667 p.
  3. Korolenko Ts.P., Dmitrieva N.V. Lichnostnye i dissotsiativnye rasstroistva: rasshi- renie granits diagnostiki i terapii [Personal and dissociative disorders: enlarging di- agnostic and therapeutic borders]. Novosibirsk: Izdatel’stvo NGPU, 2006. 448 p.
  4. Sovremennye predstavleniya o psikhicheskoi norme i patologii: Psikhologicheskii, klinicheskii i sotsial’nyi aspekty [Contemporary views on psychic normality and pathology: Psychological, clinic and social aspects]. In N.L. Belopol’skaya (ed.). Moscow: Kogito-Tsentr, 2015. 293 p.
  5. Putnam, F., Guroff, J., Silberman, E., Barban, L., Post, R. The Clinical Phenom- enology of Multiple Personality Disorder: A Review of 100 Recent Cases. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1986. Vol. 47, pp. 285–293.

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