The psychoanalytic process takes on a special ambience when the analyst is clearly elderly. The effects of this ambience on the aging analyst’s patients are discussed, and the sparse literature on the subject is reviewed. Clinical vignettes illustrate a number of these effects on the analytic process. Dealing with these special problems requires not only the analyst’s awareness of their existence but a continual monitoring of the transference-countertransference in order to avoid a silent collusion of patient and analyst to pretend these problems do not exist. The dangerous consequences of being unaware of the situation, for both patient and analyst, are discussed. If the influence of the patient’s perception of the analyst’s aging is ignored, it may lead to destruction of the treatment either through massive acting out or by a hopeless stalemate with or without the development of an endless psychoanalysis.
Key words: senior psychoanalyst, senility, enactment, acting-out
Keywords: Senior psychoanalyst, senility, enactment, acting-out