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Fremont, D. (2017). Plan B. Psychoanal. Dial., 27(3):378-380.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27(3):378-380

Plan B

Diane Fremont, L.C.S.W.

The day after the election, reeling and sick at heart, our study group explored the various, disconcerting ways we were witnessing the shock and horror of the election, “radioactively” permeating the frame and reverberating within each analytic couple (Gampel, 1998, p. 363). Adrienne recounted how one analysand had for the first time revealed that her grandfather had been murdered when she was a child. This event was linked to the fact that she had always had

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an escape hatch, or Plan B, at the ready, which had kept her from settling into her own life and relationships.

On hearing this story, I suddenly recalled that the phrase “It’s time for Plan B” had just come up as the denouement in my own dream that very morning, which I had completely forgotten. The uncanny echoing of this phrase sent a slight shock through me. The context of my dream was of a more personal nature, though resonating with the larger collective events. In the dream, the value of Plan B was almost the opposite of that in the clinical vignette, insofar as it seemed to represent not an ever-present escape hatch but rather a suddenly appearing alternate path that hadn’t existed previously, turning sharply away and downward from a pre-established route. The juxtaposition of these two contrasting but overlapping contexts revealed multiple layers of meaning in the phrase.

In addition to an alternate or escape route, Plan B can also be understood as a change of pattern,

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