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Seitz, P.F. (1975). ESP-Like Experiences in a Psychoanalyst: A Possible Psychological Mechanism. Psychoanal. Contemp. Sci., 4(1):189-209.

(1975). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Science, 4(1):189-209

2 Clinical Studies

ESP-Like Experiences in a Psychoanalyst: A Possible Psychological Mechanism

Philip F. D. Seitz, M.D.

Within a few years after starting to practice psychoanalysis some 20 years ago, I occasionally found myself feeling unaccountably troubled about certain patients whose analyses had been terminated some time before. What I experienced at such times were vague feelings of uneasiness—the feelings seeming to come from “out of the blue,” and to lack conscious content about the reason for my concern. The most striking and puzzling feature of these postanalytic experiences was that, in a disconcerting number of instances, the very patient about whom I had felt disturbed would telephone me within a day or two, saying that he was upset and needed to see me.

Initial reflection about these experiences indicated that the patients had been in analysis rather than psychotherapy, that their analytic processes had been relatively intense and long, and that their treatments appeared to have been fairly satisfactory. In other words, they were patients with whom I had worked the longest, the most intensively, and presumably the most effectively.

The timing of the patients' telephone calls, so soon after my having felt troubled about them, gave me an uncanny feeling and raised the question in my mind whether ESP might be involved.

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