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Frink, H.W. (1917). A Psychoanalytic Study of a Severe Case of Compulsion Neurosis. Psychoanal. Rev., 4(1):12-46.

(1917). Psychoanalytic Review, 4(1):12-46

A Psychoanalytic Study of a Severe Case of Compulsion Neurosis

H. W. Frink, M.D.

Part I. Introduction

Very few psychoanalytic writers have attempted to make a detailed report of an analyzed case. This has seemed to me a matter of regret for, however carefully written, the usual brief published records are apt to give an erroneous impression of the actual work of psychoanalysis. I had hoped to be able sometime to report an analysis more fully than is usually attempted, but I found a serious difficulty in the way of accomplishing this intention for the cases which I had in private practice could not be written up in detail without disclosing matters which would readily identify the patients, naturally an undesirable result of publication.

Then there came under my observation the clinic patient whom this study concerns. I soon concluded that I had here a case which if analyzed could be fully reported and it was for this reason that I began the work. With the exception of her parents and her husband none of her relatives or friends knew what her symptoms were, or that she came to me for treatment. Her parents cannot read English and her husband is now dead while it is unlikely that among her friends there are any persons who would ever read psychological literature or be able to identify the patient from this report even if they did read it. The fact that there are several physicians who would be able to make the identification does not seem to me to be a reason to deter me from writing it.

It is not however possible even in this case to provide the full record which I had hoped for when I began the analysis. In the first place the work was interrupted before the analysis was finished. In the second, the analysis of a case represents so much conversation and so many digressions from the central theme that for me, at least, so encyclopedic a report would be a physical and literary impossibility.


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