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Oremland, J.D. (1976). A Curious Resolution of a Hysterical Symptom. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 3:473-477.

(1976). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 3:473-477

A Curious Resolution of a Hysterical Symptom

Jerome D. Oremland


The case of a young female artist who developed an acute hysterical symptom is presented. In a single interview, an aspect of its dynamic meaning was interpreted. Also, the analyst encouraged her to continue her plans to go abroad, subtly inhibiting her involving herself in treatment at that time.

A postcard from the patient and a chance meeting many months later provided some follow-up information illuminating the defensive shifts which alleviated the symptom and revealing a disguised reference to the interpretation. Of special interest was an increase in effectiveness and a marked change in her artistic style and interests, which seemed related to continuing mastery attempts of significant aspects of her conflicts.

The interference with the opportunity to alter characterological difficulties by the treatment approach is also discussed.

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