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DAVID BABCOCK SMITH, University of Massachusetts Amherst


A model of psychosis and schizophrenia, based primarily on symbolic interaction theory, is developed. Dialogic consciousness is defined as internalized communicative process, and certain constructs such as mind, self, and identity are defined as derivations of this process. Reality is defined as an intersubjectively constituted product of internalized social process. The development of dialogic consciousness is then discussed, and certain problematic processes in the developmental sequence delineated. Prelinguistic and linguistic experience are discussed, allowing a view of unconscious interactive phenomena to be addressed. Psychosis is then defined as the disintegration of dialogic consciousness and the emergence of non-dialogically organized interactive phenomena into consciousness. Schizophrenia is defined as a particular way of constructing one's reality that both increases the person's vulnerability to psychosis and determines the content of what non-dialogically organized phenomena emerge in psychosis. The schizophrenic drama is viewed primarily as a struggle to remain related to social process in some way that protects the person from psychological destruction within that social process. The model is then grounded in five case histories. Some basic implications of the model for how psychosis and schizophrenia must be addressed by the scientist/therapist are then discussed. ^

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

SMITH, DAVID BABCOCK, "AN INTERACTIONAL MODEL OF PSYCHOSIS AND SCHIZOPHRENIA" (1981). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI8201404.