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Rowley, J.L. (1954). Rehearsal and Collusion. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 35:421-427.

(1954). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 35:421-427

Rehearsal and Collusion

Julius L. Rowley

A patient—a married woman of 34 with one child, a boy aged 7—was referred by her doctor to the London Clinic of Psycho-Analysis. Her main complaints were of occasional feelings of unreality, frigidity, and colouring up when with strangers. At interview it was revealed that in the previous two years she had had at least two episodes in which she had almost certainly been deluded, believing herself to have been unjustly treated by women. As a result of the interview she was placed on the waiting list. Two years later she was asked to attend the Clinic again, as there was a possibility of her beginning treatment. Five minutes after the time appointed for this interview she phoned the Clinic, saying she was lost, and asking for directions how to reach it. These were given her, and she finally arrived about ten minutes late. She began the interview by explaining that although, as she now realized, she had been within a few yards of the Clinic before the appointed time and it was not her first attendance there, she had become confused as to her whereabouts. She had therefore asked a stranger, a man, for directions, but he had sent her in what turned out in fact to be almost exactly the opposite direction from the correct one. However, she acted on his suggestion, only to realize after a few minutes that she was more lost than before, and so she had phoned the Clinic.

Work in her subsequent analysis revealed that in this incident many of her major problems were almost perfectly brought together, and that it was a demonstration of her defence mechanisms of denial and projection against her difficulties about being left alone.

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