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Marcus, D. (1988). Discussions of the case study. Psychoanal. Rev., 75(2):288-290.

(1988). Psychoanalytic Review, 75(2):288-290

Discussions of the case study Related Papers

Donald Marcus

I think we would all agree that this is a beautifully handled analysis, and if one can really talk about a psychoanalytic cure, it looks as though this is going to be one. One is struck by the difference between the patient's experience with the first analyst and with Dr. Karme. The first analyst turned out to be really like the important figures of her past. Dr. Karme, in contrast, was dependable, prompt, reliable, and thus it is clear that one of the crucial things Dr. Karme accomplished was to provide the safe structure that I was talking about in my article “Aspects of Psychoanalytic Cure”: that safe place where analysis can occur, where the patient can begin to feel, to experience, and to think.

Unfortunately for us, what I consider the most important part of the data is left out. The data that I'm talking about is, of course, the analyst's experience. There's good reason, however, for leaving that out because the patient is still in analysis and, in addition, we always are reluctant to bring that in. But there is some information about Dr. Karme's experience, and I want to use that.

In describing the first encounter with Mary, Dr. Karme said, “There was a delicacy about her that was engaging…. [T]here were flashes of wit, charm and spontaneity, during which her attractiveness came through.” Delicacy, warmth, charm, and spontaneity are all qualities that we detect by means of our emotional experience.

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