The question I am raising in this paper is inspired by work with borderline and schizophrenic patients, and concerns an aspect of our counter transference of which we are usually unaware, namely our construction of-and therefore acceptance of reality. The question can be put simply enough: are we settling for a lower level of achievement for our patients than is obtainable? Certainly, there appears to be good reasons for being pessimistic about what is obtainable. When our patients come to us, they are suffering from apparently important deficiencies. They suffer from anxiety, are either emotionally flat or labile, and prone to overexcitement.