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A Spinozist Approach to Therapy

This article examines schizophrenic experience from a phenomenological point of view to determine how it differs from normal experience. The autobiographical investigations of Wouter Kusters serve as a guide. In his famous study on schizophrenia, Alphonse De Waelhens gives a psychoanalytical account of psychotic experiences. For De Waelhens psychosis stems from a lack of desire, a perspective which implies that psychoanalytical therapy should aim to fill this lack. There are several problems arising from this perspective, which however are easily confronted when one conceptualises desire in a spinozian sense. Anti-Oedipus, a book by Deleuze and Guattari, is grounded in this spinozistic model. The schizophrenic lacks nothing, they argue, it may even be the case that he or she is torn by an overabundance of desire. These findings demand radical therapeutic change, according to Deleuze and Guattari.