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Mosse, E.P. (1945). A Vacation Experiment with a Group of Psychoanalytic Patients. Psychoanal. Rev., 32(2):219-224.

(1945). Psychoanalytic Review, 32(2):219-224

A Vacation Experiment with a Group of Psychoanalytic Patients

Eric P. Mosse, M.D.

During the summer of 1942 I undertook an unusual experience with six analytic patients whose conditions lay on the borderline between neurosis and psychosis, and who had shown depressive trends of obstinate character sufficiently marked to suggest the advisability of electroshock therapy.

In order not to lose contact with the psychological changes which might be anticipated from the application of this treatment I was able to make an arrangement with The Lake George Foundation through its Medical Director, Doctor John A. P. Millet, to house them in one of the farmhouses at Tratelja Farms, Diamond Point, New York. In order to maintain as close contact with the group as seemed desirable, and at the possible risk of upsetting the analytic situation I decided to occupy the lower floor of the farmhouse with my family. This arrangement was made possible by the fact that there was space enough for a private apartment and a consulting room. The patients, who were six in number, three males and three females, were assigned to quarters on the second floor, where they occupied rooms that were simply furnished in attractive style.

My family, which consists of a young and unusually adaptable wife, and a lively, gay daughter of nine years of age, had complete freedom of association with the patients, and spent much of their time with them on the farm, watching the farmer at work with the livestock, which included cows, calves, chickens, pigs with litters, and a team of fine Belgian horses. They also shared their expeditions through the woods and joined with them in picking the many varieties of wild flowers available as well as blueberries. This enlarged family group was cared for by a good cook, and was supervised by a motherly and vivacious practical nurse, a widow of forty years of age, who had bad experience as a psychiatric companion. I, personally, did not participate in their meals, walks, or other entertainments. Throughout the course of shock therapy I continued with analytic hours on the couch. If I happened to meet one of them on some other occasion than for professional reasons I behaved in a natural, easy-going fashion, though I was careful to avoid, at such times, any discussion of their problems.

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