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Episode 2

Psycho-Dialysis: Psychoanalytic Therapy in the Public Mental Health Clinic

Ilan Amir MD

Tel Aviv

“One of his delusions was that all the doctors treating him were fake doctors. After about two years of therapy, this delusion went away. He later considered that ‘you cannot be a doctor without listening to your patient. If you don’t listen to your patient and try to understand him, you’re a fake doctor.”  There was an emotional sense behind the delusions and I think this is what we try to do in psychotherapy.”


As you will hear in today’s interview, Dr. Amir reveals himself to be an analyst quite capable both of deep immersion in the personal intimacy of long-term clinical treatment of patients, as well as someone who values the careful study of the utility of those treatments.

Key Takeaways:

[3:05] The concept of psycho-dialysis explained by Dr. Ilan Amir through a clinical example.
[14:33] Lechol Nefesh and Dr. Ilan Amir’s work.
[18:27] Patients needed to commit to come to sessions three times a week for three years.
[18:45] Outcome research.
[22:29] All patients stopped their hospitalization.
[23:31] Realizing the need for intensive and long-term psychotherapy.
[24:12] Psychoanalysts’ ability to listen.
[25:20] Having faith in therapy.
[26:33] The importance of the connection with patients and the understanding of the
complexities of each case.
[27:18] Why psycho-dialysis?

Recommended Readings

Balint, M. (1979). The Basic Fault. 1-196. London/New York: Tavistock Publications

Phases of patient-therapist interaction in the therapy of chronic Schizophrenia. In Searles, H. Collected Papers on Schizophrenia and Related Subjects. New York: International Universities Press 1965

Treatment of Psychotic States. In Stolorow RD, Brandchaft B, Atwood AE. Psychoanalytic Treatment: An Intersubjective Approach. The Analytic Press Hillsdale NJ 1987

Winnicott, D.W. Fear of Breakdown. Int. R. Psycho-Anal. (1974). 1:103-107.

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Ilan Amir
Ilan Amir