“Day Dreaming and Hypochondria – When day dreaming goes wrong and hypochondria becomes an autistic retreat”


The lecture attempts to focus on the relation between day dreaming and hypochondria, both theoretically and clinically. The hypochondriac involvement with the body may become so extensive that at its extremity it can induce autistic-like withdrawals into a world of hypertrophied attention to one’s sensations, where day dreaming disease and deterioration, and the ensuing flooding anxiety become densely intermingled, creating a very painful and detached existence. It is claimed that an early tendency to be absorbed into excessive day dreaming might enhance hypochondriac anxieties. The developmental roots of such a state are examined and exposed through clinical material and theoretical discussion.

Alina Schellekes

is a senior clinical psychologist and a training and supervising psychoanalyst of The Israel Psychoanalytic Society. She teaches and supervises at The Israel Psychoanalytic Society; at Tel-Aviv University, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Program of Psychotherapy, where she is head of the Primitive Mental States advanced track of studies, which she initiated in 2007. She worked for more than three decades as a senior clinical psychologist at Brill Mental Health Center (Ramat Chen), Tel Aviv and is in private practice. In 2006 she received the Honorary Mention of the Phillys Meadow Award in New York for excellence in psychoanalytical writing. In November 2008 she received in Los Angeles the 12th Frances Tustin International Prize for her paper ‘The Dread of Falling and Dissolving-further thoughts’. In November 2018 she was appointed as the Chair of The Frances Tustin Memorial Trust. Her main interests both in her publications and in her teaching focus on the understanding of primitive mental states, void existence, hypochondria, psychosomatic states, day dreaming, the concept of double, and therapeutic excess. Her book The Dread of Falling – Reflections on Primitive Mental States is in press with Resling Publishing, Tel Aviv.