Patient Name: Holden Caulfield

February 28, 2008
By Sarvabhauma Karri, Lebanon, OH, OH

Patient name: Holden Caulfield Gender: Male Age: 16
Background information: Comes from wealthy family. Father works as a large corporation lawyer. Has three siblings, one deceased. Admits to have used alcohol and cigarettes. Has slight physical impairment in one hand which parents say was a self inflicted injury. Has gone to many private prep schools and has failed out of each one.
Program: Three 4-hour sessions of rigorous psychoanalysis.
Other: Patient’s parents request that all sessions be accounted for in detail, given the patient’s tendency to skip sessions in the past.

Day 1: Mr. Caulfield immediately told me that he won’t divulge anything about his childhood and personal life; apparently it’s boring and his parents wouldn’t approve. However, he immediately begins to talk about his experiences at his prep school. Many points of interest brought up during this conversation. First off, Mr. Caulfield displays significant animosity towards individuals who he deems “phonies”; those who pretend to be something they aren’t or display a false persona in order to impress people. Most of his teachers and peers with the exception of a select few have fit under this category. The two people so far who have avoided being branded are the next two points of interest: His younger brother Allie and Jane Gallagher. He speaks of Allie highly and bluntly speaks of his death by cancer, yet I observed slight traces of pain and nostalgia in his tone. After Allie’s death, Mr. Caulfield proceeded to sleep in the garage and break as many windows as he could with his bare hands. The apparent negligence of the parents allowing him to spend the entire night in the garage and injure himself breaking windows should be noted. Jane Gallagher seems to be a love interest for the patient. Mr. Caulfield can recall intimate details about his childhood with her, such as the way she arranged her king checkers or danced ballet. When his roommate, Mr. Stradlater, went on a date with her, Mr. Caulfield was agitated to the point of drawing a punch from Mr. Stradlater (he insinuates that Mr. Stradlater. We covered his escape from Pencey before the session ended.

Day 2: Most of the session was spent covering Mr. Caulfield’s time spent wandering around the city as he waited for his mother and father to “digest” the news of his “axing” from Pencey. Throughout his descriptions, two things have become very clear. First off, Mr. Caulfield is intrigued by sex. The fact that Stradlater has lost his virginity seems to draw a reluctant admiration from him. He also admits that he finds the cross dresser and the couple engaged in unorthodox foreplay “fascinating”, and immediately afterwards admits that he is “the biggest sex maniac you ever saw”. Second, Mr. Caulfield has a weakness for women. He always buys them drinks and invited his friend Sally Hayes for a date, even though she is a “pain in the a**”. This could be tied in with his sexual fascination and the fact that he still has his virginity (which he doesn’t explicitly complain about, but doesn’t seem to be proud of either). However, Mr. Caulfield revealed to more people that he never branded as phonies: the two nuns he met at a sandwich bar in the train station. We ended with the conclusion of his date with Miss Hayes. On a footnote, however, the reason his date with Miss Hayes came to an abrupt end is interesting as well. Mr. Caulfield began to ramble on about running away to Massachusetts or Vermont and living a simple life together. He eventually snapped at Miss Hayes and drove her to tears. It is clear that despite the clarity with which Mr. Caulfield is reciting these events, his mental state during the time they were taking place is questionable.

Day 3: The beginning of the session can easily be disregarded. Mr. Caulfield attacked religion, Christmas, Hollywood and war. Rather expected at this point. However, valuable insight into Mr. Caulfield’s mind was divulged when he described how he snuck home to meet his younger sister, Phoebe. Mr. Caulfield adores his sister, and the interactions he describes between them suggests the affection is mutual. They dance together, and she was delighted to see him upon his arrival. However, in an argument following the revelation that he got kicked out of school, she said to Mr. Caulfield during an argument, “You don’t like anything that’s happening,” to which Mr. Caulfield was unable to find a satisfactory response to. She has identified one of Mr. Caulfield’s chief problems which is a great help to this analysis. His memories of a classmate, James Castle, who committed suicide in one of Mr. Caulfield’s sweaters when Phil Stabile and other bullies torment him. This could be the event that initiated the deterioration of Mr. Caulfield’s emotional and mental state. His detail about these events consumed much time and the final session was over before we could analyze his mind further. Topics I’d like to pursue with him are his ex-teacher, Mr. Antolini, his experiences at the museum, and the events with Phoebe that caused him to turn away from his wild dreams of running away and back into reality.

Final Assessment: Mr. Caulfield is in a dire mental state. His parents must become involved to try and mitigate the feelings of isolation that Mr. Caulfield experiences due to his interpretation of most people as phonies. Mr. Caulfield is able to give countless examples of flaws in other people, but is unable to recognize his own. He MUST understand that just because people put up a false front, it doesn’t make them bad people. If he does, he will be able to see the good sides of all people. This will help him concentrate and try in school since he may grow to respect his teachers and classmates more, and therefore find the school a more nurturing and pleasant environment than he previously thought.

I also recommend that Mr. Caulfield come back for some light sessions. I will gladly do one more four hour class for free. The topics we did not have time to discuss will give us vital information on why your son decided to come back in the first place. If we know that, it might be possible to save him. Please, Mr. and Mrs. Holden, I implore you to consider my offer.

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