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Lampl, H. (1927). Contributions to Case History—A Case of Borrowed Sense of Guilt. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:143-158.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:143-158

Contributions to Case History—A Case of Borrowed Sense of Guilt

Hans Lampl

The patient, a man of forty-two years of age, an artist, came under my treatment, at the beginning of June last year, in a rather singular way. He had been having sexual relations with one of his pupils, whom he had sent to me because she showed symptoms of anxiety. I undertook her treatment, but it soon appeared that her teacher was by far the more serious case. I let him know that her cure was possible only if he too submitted himself to a course of treatment. He thereupon confessed that he had really advised his pupil to undergo treatment because he himself wished to be treated by her. He had the idea that after a short time a patient would understand enough of analysis to be able to treat another. He would never, he said, of his own accord have sought a doctor and resorted to treatment. Half of his wish was thus fulfilled; in a roundabout way, by means of his pupil, he had become my patient.

Even the external appearance of the man was striking: he had a pedantically methodical mode of attire for a poorly-clad person, and looked, too, distinctly younger than he really was. His manner of speaking was very polite and careful, and he very seldom showed any affect in the analysis. Now and again a slight groan escaped his lips when he was talking without reserve about particularly trying domestic events. From the very first, when he entered or left the consulting-room, he put everything on the sofa scrupulously in order.

Something like the following picture of his life-history developed in the course of the analysis:

He was born, the eldest son of a distinguished artist, in the same province in which he afterwards lived. His uncle—his father's brother—as well as his mother, had the same calling as his father. A second boy was born when he was a year and a half old, and a girl when he was four.

The children remained at home till they entered the high school; then the parents travelled about for a considerable time, and the boys went to live in the capital city of a small state, where they attended the intermediate school.

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