SCREEN TIME: Clinical Notes Regarding Meissner's (2006) Chronically Late Patient

Moshe Halevi Spero

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2 Scopus citations


This communication is a commentary on William W. Meissner's presentation (2006) of a patient who chronically came late for sessions. The time duration of analytic work-relatively restricted per hour yet potentially limitless in overall duration-represents an existential paradox that is fundamental to the basic representational qualities of mental experience, and inherent in a mute way in the analytic frame. It is to be expected that the latent temporal elements of the patient's conflicts will inevitably challenge this aspect of the frame, subtly coercing patient and analyst to recreate these novel dimensions. If the analyst is too cautious regarding the inevitability of countertransference reactions to such a patient, important developmental opportunities may be missed. I suspect that the chronic lateness and absence that characterized the work with this patient screened an early, nonmentalized trauma that had torn a hole in the foundations of the patient's sense of time, and was inadvertently expressed by Meissner in an entirely atypical manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-196
Number of pages8
JournalPsychoanalytic Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • lateness
  • religious belief
  • screen memory
  • shame
  • time


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