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Bryan, D. (1920). An Instance of the Care Needed in Drawing Conclusions. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 1:268-270.

(1920). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 1:268-270

An Instance of the Care Needed in Drawing Conclusions

Douglas Bryan

A patient whom I am treating by psycho-analysis came the other day for her usual sitting. She was wearing a long fur coat which a few days previously she had received back from the makers after it had been renovated with a new silk lining. She took it off and placed it folded inside out over the back of the couch upon which she settled herself. She then related a dream she had had the night before. After telling me the dream she asked if she might refer to a little book in which she had made some notes of the dream. She said the book was in the pocket of her coat. I agreed to her request, and she reached up and placed her hand in the pocket of the coat which was situated in the lining and on the left side of the coat; the pocket was quite obvious as the coat was lying across the back of the couch. She felt in the pocket and immediately exclaimed, "Why, the book is not here". She said that she was certain she had placed it in the pocket just before she came out, and now it had disappeared. She was very much disturbed and felt that there was something uncanny about its disappearance. She got up from the couch and looked about the room to see if she had dropped it. As she could not find it she sat down again still very distressed, and assured me that she had placed the book in the pocket. In despair she snatched the coat off the back of the couch on to her knees and again placed her hand in the pocket, when she suddenly exclaimed, "Why, here it is", and she brought out the book from the pocket. The book was a very thin one about four inches long by two and a half wide and covered in cretonne; it had only two or three pages in it for notes. I might add that when she first placed her hand in the pocket she found in it a small hole, but this was too small for the book to have slipped through.


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