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Kegerreis, S. (2013). ‘When I Can Come on Time I'll Be Ready to Finish’: Meanings of Lateness in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Brit. J. Psychother., 29(4):449-465.

(2013). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 29(4):449-465

Clinical Practice

‘When I Can Come on Time I'll Be Ready to Finish’: Meanings of Lateness in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Sue Kegerreis

This paper considers some aspects of the meaning of chronic lateness in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. The central role of time in psychoanalytic work and the significance of enactments around the analytic frame are considered. Using clinical material the writer explores how lateness can be understood as an expression of global difficulties in accepting and adapting to the demands of reality as well as a wide range of complex object-relationship difficulties. Some of the technical and countertransference complexities of dealing with lateness are discussed. Lateness is seen to project intolerable experiences into the therapist, to demonstrate the patient's intense difficulties in imagining and tolerating a productive couple, to re-enact a sadomasochistic dynamic from the patient's past and to re-encounter/re-address the patient's early experiences of rejection and oedipal rivalries. The eventual synchronization of therapist and patient's times is explored as a major achievement in the patient's increasing capacity for relating.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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