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De Saussure, J. (1993). To be or not to be a Patient. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 74:181.

(1993). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 74:181

To be or not to be a Patient

Janice De Saussure

Mme de Saussure writes:

Thank you for your letter informing me of the comment Mr Torp made about my use of the word patient in my talk given at the University of Copenhagen last Winter. As he told you, he made the same point during the discussion there. I can only say, as I did at the time, that for me what counts most is the basic attitude of respect the analyst has for the person in analysis. I do not think that one can jump to the conclusion that use of the word patient is adequate proof that the analyst looks down on or belittles the person in analysis nor that using the word analysand or client necessarily means respect. I did point out that the word chosen is related to the customs and usage in different parts of the world. Undoubtedly the meaning attributed to each term used to designate a person in analysis varies according to the point of view of the person using it or the one hearing it.

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