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Katz, A.M. (2011). The Wolf Girl. Psychoanal. Perspect., 8(1):92-99.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 8(1):92-99

The Wolf Girl

Allison Mazer Katz, LMSW

ALTHOUGH I AM A MERE THIRD-YEAR CANDIDATE AT NIP, I FEEL my experiences in training have provided me with enough embarrassment, hilarity, elation, angst, and confusion to last a lifetime. In my first months in the clinic, I was lambasted as young, useless, boring, girly, cheerleaderish, stiff, and unprofessional, among other descriptions. One client nicknamed me “Chief Justice Roberts” after one of my particularly long-winded interpretations. Another great exchange occurred in the waiting room: As I approached the couch to greet my new patient, an older woman seated nearby took one look at me and said, “Don't tell me you are a therapist!” In shock and with wide eyes, I glanced at the woman and said, sheepishly, “Well, yes. I am.” In what seemed like a voice loud enough to be heard at a Kiss concert, she replied, “Oh, my God! That's so funny! I thought you were 14.” I think my patient and I both wished the floor would open and swallow us whole.

Unfortunately, all of those moments could not quite prepare me for the phone call I received one Wednesday morning in October. It was NIP's clinic director, calling to assign me a new client, Erin. To my surprise, I realized that I knew this patient. The previous year I had seen her for eight months at an outpatient treatment center. We had terminated strictly because I was leaving the clinic to begin analytic training. Erin had always intimidated me, however. Aside from appearing flawlessly articulate and self-possessed, she had no qualms expressing the fact that my young age bothered her.

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