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Malcolm, R.R. (1981). Technical Problems in the Analysis of a Pseudo-Compliant Patient. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 62:477-484.

(1981). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 62:477-484

Technical Problems in the Analysis of a Pseudo-Compliant Patient

Ruth Riesenberg Malcolm


This is a clinical paper which describes the analysis of a defensive narcissistic personality.

The emphasis is on studying and illustrating the behaviour in the sessions which I have called that of pseudo-compliance. This behaviour was aimed at maintaining a splitting between an idealized relationship with the analyst and the projection into external objects of persecuting and painful aspects of this relationship. By appearing to agree with almost everything and listening to almost nothing, the patient felt that she could avoid contact with feelings of dependency that seemed to terrify her.

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