It is hard to remember the feeling I had treating Mr. A fifteen years ago or to convey the texture of those early sessions. Mr. A could be tedious in the extreme and so consistently repetitive as to lead me to often roll my eyes as he lay on the couch. In fact, the beginnings of sessions for years were more or less the same with his stating in almost the exact same words how he did not want to be in treatment, how I was out to hurt him, how he could not possibly say anything new, how he wanted to leave. At the beginning of his treatment, the sessions would only be different after an obligatory forty minutes of this diatribe. Over years, the obligatory time was gradually reduced to half an hour, to fifteen minutes, to ten minutes, until eventually fourteen years into treatment, it would be only a sentence or two about how he was still not comfortable coming to see me. At the same time for years of early treatment, he was anxiety-provoking, frequently threatening suicide at the end of sessions (which at one early point led him to arrange a noose for himself in the basement of his parent’s home, a basement to which he often retreated to stare for hours at the fish in the large fish tank which he tended there) and often begging me, pleading with me, to “let him go”, to just give up on him. I think I benefited from a certain naïveté: he was an early psychoanalytic case and I was 230overjoyed to have anyone on the couch. And despite what often struck more experienced psychoanalysts as something approaching psychosis about him (I was told by one analyst to whom I presented the case as a candidate that he was a “very sick” man and told repeatedly that he would make a poor control case), I found myself plodding along with him day after day, year after year, tedium after tedium, only to find years later somewhat to my own surprise that this marginal individual, this self-made outcast had fashioned a life for himself, married, become a loving if conflicted father to two children, and gained some understanding of his emotions and his fears.