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Cooper, A. (1968). Problems in Therapy of a Patient with Masked Depression. Contemp. Psychoanal., 5(1):45-56.

(1968). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 5(1):45-56

Problems in Therapy of a Patient with Masked Depression

Allan Cooper, Ph.D.

THIS PRESENTATION will focus on the most important issues that figured in the plan of the analysis and leave out a great deal of other material about the patient. After briefly reviewing the most vital biographical information about her, I shall discuss my handling of the following analytic issues:

1. Her intellectualization and lack of awareness of her own experiences and feelings—the most striking aspect of the case.

2. Her cynical attitude about interpersonal relationships and her belief that nothing positive or tender could take place between people.

3. Her lack of recall about her father and her feelings about being abandoned by him.

4. Her faulty sexual identification and resentment of men.

5. Her tendency to regress, fixate, and live out a distorted and self-destructive view of a childhood paradise.

Jane, who is twenty-six years old, is attractive and dresses in a chic modern way, appearing to be no more than eighteen. She lives alone and has no telephone. Her reason for not having one is to prevent people from being in contact with her and making unwelcome demands; she said that she prefers to make the calls herself when she wants to speak to them. Ruth, her one close friend, will help her out without asking anything in return. Jane works in a publishing house as a secretary and "girl Friday" because it's an easy job.

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