Chance meetings in public between psychiatrists and their clients are not usually relished by either. At its least embarrassing, the encounter can pose to both parties the dilemma: Should we greet each other and risk revealing to the public our special, but stigmatised, relationship? Or, should we ignore one another and risk one (or both) of us feeling rejected? The more embarrassing encounters are well known in psychiatric covens and sometimes even revealed to outsiders in the course of ethanolic abreaction at intimate dinner parties. However, hitherto they have not found a place in conventional psychiatric literature, with its scientific emphasis and basic assumptions in the journals of smoothly flowing professionalism and the normality of the psychiatrist.
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