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Ries, H. (1945). An 'Unwelcome Child and her Death Instinct'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 26:153-161.

(1945). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 26:153-161

An 'Unwelcome Child and her Death Instinct'

Hannah Ries

The analysis I am going to present consists of three different phases. The first, which lasted for two years and three months, was one of exceptional co-operation from the side of the patient—really too good to be true. The second, lasting for ten months, was filled with outbursts of hatred against me, combined with a deep depression, both of which the patient was unable to analyse but had to act out to a degree I had never experienced before. Only in the third period, which has now lasted for twenty-one months, has she slowly begun to analyse her feelings of hatred and suicidal wishes.

Here is the patient's story. In the summer of 1940 a young Belgian girl of nearly 18 came to see me, asking for analysis. The family had only recently escaped from their native country, where the patient had undergone analysis for three months and felt it had done her good. Her main complaint was that she had to torture her whole family constantly; she simply could not help it and eagerly wished to be cured of this compulsion with the help of analysis.

The patient's mother had undergone analysis for some time in Belgium and it was due to her initiative that Rose was sent to an analyst.

Already at this first interview Rose showed a high degree of sincerity and this remained one of her outstanding characteristics. In analysis it was certainly helpful, but it also presented difficulties, for it is one of the peculiarities of Rose's illness.

Rose has a striking physical defect: she was born with a congenital dislocation of both hips, which made her walk very heavily and lamely when she first came to see me.

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