Hugo Moraes

Between Heaven and Hell There is No-thing: A Case Study of a Patient with BPD

The present paper is an attempt to showcase the Borderline Personality Disorder through a psychological case study of a clinical patient. Themes such as abandonment, emotional instability, self-harm, and chronic feelings of emptiness constitute some of the criteria needed for a psychiatric diagnosis, all of the above were observed during her analysis. More importantly, in terms of psychodynamics an overall emotional imbalance and a feeling of emptiness/de-value has been the only constant throughout her life. Such states seem to go back to her prenatal development marked by an extramarital affair from her father that left her pregnant mother with a deep feeling of regret for having to bear such chaos in a significant and vulnerable time of her life. She has told of the times during her childhood that her father referred to her physical features as being quite exquisite and remarkedly alike the features of his old fling. The patient seems to have inherited this dynamic throughout her life, many times tricking others through charm, while at other times being gulled into a state of abuse/dependency. Her general tendency was to run to her opposite state in a desperate attempt to get over her troubles, undermining whichever solid truth she had found on an attempt to reach novelty experience. The only in-between state mentioned was summarized by what she called her soul-image, a recurring vision where she describes herself waiting anxiously at three o’ clock in the afternoon under the hot countryside sun on a train station bench waiting for the train to come. According to the patient, a newly found sensation of relief and renewal started to come to consciousness once this place of despair was approached gradually through active imagination. Such approach made her feel like she was truly meeting with herself for the first time.


Hugo Iglesias Torres de Moraes, clinical psychologist graduated by the Universidade de Fortaleza UNIFOR (Brazil). Currently specializing in neuropsychology by Centro Universitário Christus (Brazil) and translating analytical psychology works for the publishing house “Editora Vozes”.

Recent Publication

  • “La corrupción política como corrupción del alma” has been approved on the IAAP Buenos Aires XXII International Congress for Analytical Psychology and on the XXV Congreso Internacional de Antropología de Iberoamérica (Universidad de Salamanca).


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