Case 5 The Altered Face (Facial Disfigurement)

  • Margaret E. Backman


Esther was an attractive older woman, of “uncertain age.” She arrived at the therapist’s office with a large bandage covering half her face. The therapist had been informed by the referring physician, Dr. M, that the patient had had an advanced case of skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) that necessitated radical surgery. The resulting wound was very deep, going as far as the bone, and although not visible because of the bandage, half her nose and cheek had been removed. Dr. M wanted Esther to wait a year before beginning reconstructive surgery, to make sure there was no recurrence of disease. In the meantime, Esther would need to take care of the unsightly gaping wound during its healing process.


Skin Cancer Facial Deformity Tive Surgery Facial Disfigurement Countertransference Reaction 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret E. Backman
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Office of Health ServicesBarnard College, Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryNew York University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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