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An Open Letter in a Closed Envelope

The author writes a long letter to a psychiatric patient with whom he has been corresponding for several years. The letter was written on the occasion of a Congress on chronicity as the central theme (“Psychoanalytic work with chronic patients, Gent, 16. April, 2008). It is primarily a personal letter covering some important themes in their conversations: time, the attitude towards psychiatry, life and death, the father and a woman. The author tries to describe their humane encounter and how this affects both author and patient.