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(2000). Open Discussion Panelists and Audience Afternoon Session. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 9(4):516-524.

(2000). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 9(4):516-524

Open Discussion Panelists and Audience Afternoon Session

Dr. Peter Dunn

I want to thank the discussants for their comments, which I took forward to reading as well. In hundreds of hours of analysis and in supervision I thought about many of these issues. I would say for a long period of time I experienced her initial reaction as being caused entirely by the way I had handled the beginning of the treatment. Over time I came to be struck by the resonance between her early experience and what had been enacted with and by me. Certainly she felt these memory gaps were humiliating and exposed her deficiency. I would say that over time I felt what had ensued had less to do with my technique and more to do with the press of her inner fantasy life and need to reenact it.

As to Dr. Orgel's suggestion that the memory gaps represented a manifestation of her sense of castration, that was my impression as well. I would say that my ultimate formulation of the case was along the following lines: Ms. X, having a profound sense of deficit based on an identification with her mother, turned to her father (and father substitutes) for repair. This search had a compulsive and conflicted quality that was epitomized in the interaction around lying on the couch.

Now in terms of what happened to Larry and Richard, as the analysis progressed there was a collapse of a lot of the grandiosity, a lot of the feeling that she could capture any man. She began to give up the focus on these idealized, narcissistic, fabulous objects, and turned to what she called ordinary men. And with them she had much more competitive relationships. She ended up leaving the eminent director and marrying a science teacher who was very different from the type of man we had been talking about.

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