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November 1961

Imposture as a Form of Mastery

Author Affiliations

From the Institute for Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Research and Training, Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago 16.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(5):449-452. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710170027002

The impostor, as a clinical type, is rarely seen. In part this is because he does not present himself for treatment, and in part it may be because he is successful in imposing his fabrications on the unsuspecting psychiatrist as well.

It is the purpose of this brief communication to present material concerning a patient whose imposture was discovered quite by accident toward the end of his therapy, and whose fabrications took a special form, in that the feelings and incidents he reported and dealt with were real events that had occurred 3 years earlier, but were being reported as though they were current events. In other words, this patient reported vividly, with feeling, chronologically and continuously, episodes and experiences that were total lies at the time they were told, but had in fact been totally true 3 years before.

Report of Case  A 26-year-old

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