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The Retreat — An Exercise in Therapeutic Strategy

E. P. Scarlett, MB
Arch Intern Med. 1966;118(1):81-86. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.00290130083016.
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A recent illness which found me occupying a hospital bed provided a time for reflection and, in this instance, something more—the germ of an idea which gradually grew into a conviction.

If fortune favors you, the most surprising transformation occurs while you are a patient in a quiet room. The experience is, as it were, a "release into simplicity." Slowly but surely you undergo a process of reorientation. Things fall into place in the most incredible fashion. The duties that were crowding you only a short time before seem no longer so pressing or important. The anxiety over future plans and appointments disappears. Presently the sky clears and you find yourself standing on the quarterdeck, quietly in command, and in surprisingly good humor. Even the news that your favorite team has been badly beaten does not shake your equanimity.

All the while you get on better terms with Memory. You


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