After hours: Temporal developments at the edge of the analytic session

Moshe Halevi Spero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The author presents case material of a rigid, schizoid patient who at some point during his treatment began to come late for sessions. He once missed an entire session only to appear at the door after the scheduled hour had passed; this "timing" was evidently intentional. Discussion centers upon the meaning of this kind of phenomenon; it seemed that this particular patient was trying to remold the analytic frame, and the analyst's temporal experience, in accordance with a deeply primitive experience of the "shape" of time, and thereby carve out a sanctuary into which he could sequester his idiosyncratic sense of nontime until circumstances enabled further progress toward more mature symbolization of time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-419
Number of pages25
JournalPsychoanalytic Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Analytic frame
  • Après-coup
  • Cancellation of sessions
  • Countertransference
  • Dreams
  • Enactment
  • Object relations
  • Personality disorders
  • Time
  • Timelessness


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