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Sanville, J.B. (2002). When Therapist and Patient Are Both in Erikson's Eighth Stage. Psychoanal. Inq., 22(4):626-639.

(2002). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 22(4):626-639

When Therapist and Patient Are Both in Erikson's Eighth Stage

Jean B. Sanville, M.S.W., Ph.D.

Reflections on Discovering That One Has Become Old

Over the Years, 1 have Written Quite a Few Versions of my professional life history. At times I was prompted by my astonishment at finding myself in a stage of life that I had always thought of as “older,” and attempting some insight at how I could have arrived there without being very conscious of such a march of time. The first version occurred, I think, when, after decades of teaching at UCLA, I found in my classroom one morning the daughter of a young student, as yet unmarried, who had been in the first class I had taught here. Subsequent editions of my history were requested by various groups. It was as though younger professionals did not want to be caught off guard as I had been. They also found it easier to learn about the history of their profession by listening to a colleague who had lived through most of it, so there were several times when Smith Collect School of Social Work students requested that I speak with them about how it had been to be a clinical social worker when most of them were in nursery or grammar school. One of the last papers I found in my overcrowded files was one entitled. “New Beginnings and Open Endings: A Fresh Version of an Old Narrative,” which had been delivered in Los Angeles at a June 1989 meeting of the Southern California Area Committee of the NMCOP.

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