André Michels – Some Remarks on William Fried’s Presentation – An Overture and It’s Vicissitudes – Therapy, Analysis or …

THE LETTER 10 (Summer 1997) pages 26-39

The case presented raises many questions. I should like to raise only a few of these here.

To begin with, the context is not without significance. William Fried has supplied us with some very important information that allows us to advance a couple of hypotheses about this.


You returned from your holidays and were somewhat anxious ‘about the gaps that had lately appeared in [your] private practice schedule’ and you asked yourself ‘whether and when [your] next referral would come’.

For this reason, you were very happy to receive a call from a former patient and your ‘wishful thought was that he was calling now to resume treatment’. When it turned out that he wanted to introduce a new patient to you, at first you were happy about this but you had a few doubts and scruples as to whether you should be accepting him at all from an ex-patient, especially since the latter wanted to visit and eventually to resume treatment.

The reasons that you give (as you yourself observe) sound like rationalisations. The interesting thing about your description is that you are conscious of this but that this does not influence your conduct or your decision. The doubts which arise are quickly eliminated. But perhaps the most important thing is that you have the courage to mention them and that, by describing the inner process of what is agitating you, you open yourself up in such a way that this present discussion is rendered possible. …

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