Death issues in the clinical situation
T o sharpen the clinical sense of how death issues materialize in and affect the course of a psychotherapy experience, I turn now to a brief clinical excerpt.
Dr Denton is a male psychotherapist who works within a psychoanalytic framework. His patient, Mrs Peters, is a woman in her mid-thirties who came to therapy for repeated episodes of depression.
A year into the therapy and three weeks before Dr Denton was due to take a month off for his summer vacation, Mrs Peters suffered and described in her session several recent traumatic incidents. Her father had fallen ill with a serious heart attack; he was in the hospital and near death, but surviving. There had been bitter arguments with her husband because he had had to travel for business and the patient felt deserted at her time of need. The patient was also distressed because her 14-year-old daughter had been out late, and the patient had fantasied that she had been killed in a car accident. When her daughter