Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy for Patients Suffering from an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

  • Peter E. Sifneos


A 24-year-old female college junior came to the psychiatry clinic complaining of an inability to make up her mind whether or not to go to Japan and visit other countries in the Far East with her boyfriend who invited her to accompany him on a business trip. She put it as follows:

As soon as he mentioned the trip, I became very interested to hear all about his plans, but when I heard that he was inviting me to go along, I felt anxious all of a sudden. Actually, that is not absolutely correct because I also felt very thrilled at the thought of accompanying him, but my anxiety increased, I became panicky, and I started to have doubts. Questions came to my mind: “Is he good enough for me?” “Would I be happy with him?” “Will I get bored?” “Would I become attracted to someone else?” “Would I want to have sex with someone else?” “Is he as good a lover as I think?” I went on thinking all these thoughts and my doubts increased. I felt paralyzed. Although I know that all these questions were absurd, because I like Bill and we are thinking of living together, nevertheless I could not get rid of these repetitive thoughts from my mind. In addition, I find myself doing ridiculous acts such as knocking on wood many times. What is so silly about it is the need to knock on wood extra times. I know that I love him; yet I go on performing these foolish acts, and I keep on thinking these idiotic thoughts.


Repetitive Thought Business Trip Beth Israel Hospital Psychological Conflict Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter E. Sifneos
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryBeth Israel HospitalBostonUSA

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