I began my 1 year of inpatient clinical psychology internship in a State Mental Health Hospital, after completing 3 years of internship work within an ambulatory setting.

The encounter with psychotic patients, so different in the intensity of suffering and distress from those I had known in my ambulatory work, is hard to put into words.

In a place where words lose their power, a new channel of experience opens up, one which entails the therapist’s willingness to get “lost” within, as well as to surrender to, the emotional turmoil awakened in him, acknowledging it as a foundational matrix through which therapist and patient are born and transformed.

Through the psychotherapy of Mr. B., a unique patient and close to my heart, I present my meaningful experience as an intern psychologist in an acute closed ward.

The therapy is described in a personal and experiential manner, exemplifying the overwhelming intensities which can appear in work with psychotic patients.

Therapy with Mr. B., as well as dealing with the formidable and intense experience accompanying work on the acute closed ward, was made possible through the holding and nourishing environment provided in supervision and the internship program as a whole, making this phase of the clinical training an invaluable and profound contribution to the personal and professional development of the psychologist.