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Sopena, C. (1991). Fragment of the Analysis of an Hysterical Patient. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 72:525-537.

(1991). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 72:525-537

Fragment of the Analysis of an Hysterical Patient

Carlos Sopena


Elsa came to see me two and a half years ago. She was pregnant at the time and very close to giving birth. She wanted to start her analysis promptly, as soon as the baby, which would be her first, was born. She had been married for two years and was not feeling happy in her marriage, which was getting her down. She doesn't know whether it is because she has made a bad choice of husband or whether it is marriage itself that is to blame. She describes her husband as childish, selfish and very controlling. As lovers they had been closer to each other and enjoyed a satisfying sexual relationship; after they were married she had gone through a period of frigidity and vaginismus which she had been able to overcome, but without recovering the love and desire she had known before. Her ideal man is a former lover who is now married; with him she would have felt completely happy.

She is the youngest of six children: three boys and three girls. When she was little she was fat, and according to her this was due to her mother's obsession with food. When Elsa was 7 years old her mother moved to Madrid with the children so that they could go to school in the capital, leaving her husband behind in the city in which they had lived up to that time. However, Elsa didn't go to school until she was 9, because her mother thought the governess was a better teacher. For a while when she was about 10, an older brother used to touch her up sexually, and this made her feel very excited, and at the same time it made her angry that he should take advantage of her.

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