Posts Tagged ‘transference’

Dot An “i”

April 9, 2018

Cross a “t.”

One more small bit of paperwork in the works.

I have had this gnawing feeling for weeks now that I was missing some paperwork for my school.

My God.

The amount of paperwork that is required to prove I have been doing the deal for the last three semesters is horrendous.

I have had four supervisors.

Two that I primarily work with.

Two that I accrued a couple of hours with.

Hours that no matter how small, matter quite a lot, little by little those hours are going to add up to me being licenced and every single fucking one of them is important.

So I have four separate pieces of paper with all their relevant information on them for the BBS.

And then I must have another set of papers, not the original signed ones, but facsimiles or copies thereof to show my school.

Plus.

Every hour.

EVERY SINGLE HOUR.

Has to be signed off by a supervisor.

I have had one main supervisor.

I will, in fact, be seeing him tomorrow.

And he’s the one that will be doing the majority of the signing.

I have had another, my group supervisor, who will also be needing to sign a fair amount of paperwork.

What I did not know is that there needed to be a Letter Of Agreement between my site supervisor and my school, CIIS, supervisor.

I had no clue.

No one ever told me.

It just slipped through the cracks.

So that nagging feeling of there’s something missing was not wrong, I just didn’t know what it was that I needed.

I found out yesterday and today when I got done with school I zoomed over to my internship and left the paperwork on my internship supervisor’s desk with a big fat note saying please sign this ASAP, and oh yeah, pre-date it.

Thankfully he got my email and I just now received a response and all is good.

I will still have to pick up the paperwork and take it to my other supervisor who is not affiliated with my organization, and have him sign it, then return all that paperwork to the school.

That will all happen next Monday.

Tomorrow I will just go meet with my supervisor and we will start my review.

I received it today while I was in class and it was something else to read while I was on my lunch break.

Carmen continues to demonstrate an amazing work ethic.

Aw.  Thanks man!

Carmen has done extremely well at Liberation Institute and is currently seeing about eight regular patients. She is on track to complete her hours for graduation.

I have completed them!!

I needed 225 to graduate and as of the last time I checked I have 244.

I actually have more hours than that, 385.75, but some of those hours while counting for the BBS requirements, do not count for CIIS’s graduation requirements.

The school’s requirements though, have been met!  I have enough hours, I will graduate.

Pending signing of a fuck load of paperwork, but my hours have been met!

Regarding supervision, Carmen attends every session on time, is eager and prepared to
speak about many patients, and appreciates the time together. She is a quick learner and
leans on her supervisor to help interpret difficult situations and seems increasingly
comfortable with handling her treatments.  Carmen is demonstrating an aptitude to manage the amount of psychic space and time that she allows her patients to consume and is making mature decisions.
Carmen is ending her last semester of practicum and seems ready for the next challenge.

You bet your ass I’m ready for the next challenge, bring on graduation.

I am also ready for a break, truth be told, but that will have to wait for a little while yet.

Carmen’s treatments have been diverse. She sees both men and women. She sees both
straight and gay patients. She has a culturally diverse practice. Carmen is able to manage
cultural diversity well.

That was nice to hear, I do see a great range of people and I am quite grateful that I can hold more than one type of client.

Carmen has met her goals for practicum. She shown that she can do intakes (consults),
get patients interested in a treatment, and retain them. She can build alliances. Her
patients come regularly and seem to enjoy their relationship with her. Carmen is able to
be herself in session, manage her anxiety, negotiate boundaries and the frame, and deal
with the rudiments of transference (i.e., idealization / devaluation).
Carmen enjoys her case work and is progressing beyond what is expected.

I am enjoying my work!

I really like my clients, and I feel like I am a good therapist.

Carmen shows an aptitude for intuiting transference and countertransference issues.

I am very proud of this.

It may not mean much to a lay person reading that, but I remember how confused I was just defining those terms when I first started my program.  I still need a lot of work around theory, but as my supervisor writes I will have years to work on theory and that my beginnings have aptitude.

That makes me happy to hear.

And then there was this:

Carmen has done extremely well in her practicum. She establishes a solid frame, sets
good boundaries, builds trusted alliances and is increasingly comfortable conducting
treatments with her patients. Carmen is an extremely hardworking and reliable therapist for her patients, listens well, empathizes and provides support. By listening to her countertransference, Carmen intuits patients’ motives and conflicts. She has the capacity to progress her treatments in deep and generative ways. Carmen’s patients are extremely lucky to have such a gifted and committed therapist.

That last sentence.

Oh wow.

That was so nice to read.

To be told by someone who I respect, and perhaps revere a touch, the man is a fucking genius, that I am a gifted therapist, that my clients are lucky to have me, my God, that just amazed me.

I am so, so, so grateful for this opportunity to get to be of service and to get to use what I know to help others, it means so much.

And it doesn’t hurt that I have a real career that I am investing myself in, a chance to become more and do more than I have done before.

To help others and also, truly, myself.

I am so blessed.

Luckiest girl in the world.

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

February 3, 2018

The Nourse Theater in Hayes Valley.

COMMENCEMENT!

The date is set, the place has been set, now I just need to get through the next four months of school.

My God.

It is actually going to happen.

I am going to graduate in May!

I’ve never been to the Nourse Theater, but it looks lovely.

I had, for some reason, thought it would be at the Palace of Fine Arts, I seemed to recall having seen photos from a previous cohort’s graduation, but it’s not there and though I love the Palace, I’m happy the commencement ceremonies will be held close to my school.

It feels right somehow.

I’ve a few ideas for what I want to do to celebrate, definitely toss the hat up into the air.

Which reminds me I think I’m going to have to purchase a cap and gown.

An expense I really don’t fucking want to deal with since well I’ll only be wearing it once, but I don’t believe the school rents them.

What I have heard from a few people in my group supervision at my internship, is that folks from previous cohorts may lend them out.

Unfortunately both the people in my group supervision who graduated last year from my same program are a lot shorter than me.

Like, a lot, I wouldn’t be able to fit in a cap and gown that either of them wore.

I’ll suck it up, just one more expense that I wasn’t counting on when I applied to the program.

Like the $5,000 I will have spent on a licenced therapist while I’m in the program.

I love my therapist though, she’s great, also a graduate from the same program that I am in, and I do get her sliding scale fee, $120 an hour, since she knows I’m a student and my school requires that I see a licenced MFT while I’m in practicum.

At first it was really hard to think about spending that kind of money once a week, but having been with her now for 33 sessions, I track them on my Track My Hours BBS app, I can say with not one doubt in my head that it’s been so worth it.

Having an outlet, having support, having a place to explore whatever I’ve been going through while I’ve been in practicum has been such a huge help.

I have worked around a lot of family of origin trauma’s, incest, neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, violence in my family system, with my father, with my step-father, a five-year relationship that went sour and led to being a statistic on domestic violence, my alcohol and drug use, and abuse and subsequent journey into recovery.

It still amazes me that I am sober, that I didn’t do a rehab or a recovery house.

The thought of having to do that scares the living shit out of me, I see a lot of folks in and out of recovery houses and there doesn’t seem to be an answer there.

Perhaps an introduction to a solution, definitely a clean and safe place off the streets, but so often the folks I see from those places don’t seem to have much hope.

Then again, my own perception is probably skewed.

Anyway.

Therapy.

My therapist.

So fucking glad to work with her.

I have worked on self-esteem issues, self-advocacy, self-care, setting boundaries.

I have worked through transference and counter transferences with my clients.

Frankly such a relief to have that as an outlet.

I had a couple of back to back days of intense client sessions.

Really good, don’t get me wrong, but super intense.

Grateful that I get to show up for my clients and be a good therapist.

At least I think I’m good.

The feedback has been good, both from my supervisors and from my clients, but my God, there’s always so much more to learn.

And then there’s all the learning that I have done.

All the work that I have done over the last two and a half years, so much work, so much processing, so much learning, so many articles and books and videos, so, so, so many fucking papers, so much practice, so much showing up, being vulnerable, leaning into the vulnerability and growing.

Painful growth and glorious growth and heartbreaking growth.

I can’t wait to graduate.

The ritual is important for me.

I know it will probably be boring as hell, but there is something here that needs to be done for me, an enactment, the crossing of the stage, the flipping the tassel on my cap from one side to the other, to signify that I have graduated.

I need that ceremony.

It feels very important to me to acknowledge the rite of passage.

And I want to have a party.

I really, really do.

I really have thought quite a bit about having it at Ocean Beach, a bonfire, blankets in the sand, some snacks, I don’t really care about food, but some cold bevvies in a cooler, all non-alcoholic thank you.

I think it would be easier for me to facilitate than making reservations for a big dinner party somewhere.

It’s not so much the food that’s important, it’s the people.

I see a big bundle of balloons on the beach, a bonfire, and a bunch of folks standing around and hanging out, simple, easy, sweet.

The only drawback to Ocean Beach is that the beach doesn’t really have bathrooms, there are port-a-potties, but that’s it.

Then again, like I can’t handle that, how many times have I gone to Burning Man?

Heh.

I did have it suggested that I have it at my house, and there’s some appeal there and also not, I can’t decide.  I could have a fire in the back yard, there’s a fire pit, there are tables and chairs and the yard is big enough to accommodate plenty of folks, and there’s a bathroom.

I’d probably need to clear it with the landlady, but I can’t think that she would say no.

There’s also a grill I could use.

I just get a little edgy about having people come in and out of my house, but then again, it could be sweet.

Oh, so many things to plan.

But not right yet.

Not right now.

Now is time for sleep.

It’s been a long week.

Grateful that I made it through.

Grateful for all the love in my life.

So.

Deeply.

Deeply.

Grateful.

For all the love.

 

That’s Not Mine

September 13, 2017

It’s yours.

Or.

It is mine?

Or is it both?

Turns out yesterday it was both/and.

I hate that.

Both.

And.

I had a client working through some traumatic stuff in session yesterday and I realized later that I had taken some of it with me.

It was hard to shake.

Why was it so hard to shake?

I talked to my therapist today about it.

We isolated it and moved through it and all sorts of stuff came up.

Jesus fucking Christ.

All the stuff.

Fortunately, and I mean this in the sincerest way possible, fortunately, I have been doing self-examination and inventory and work on myself for such a long time that I was able to work through it.

I can’t and won’t divulge what happen in session with my client.

That’s a breach of ethics and I am honor bound to keep those things within the walls of my office.

But.

I can say that what happened had a resounding feel to me of something that had happened to me.

I couldn’t quite pin it.

I know that there was an extraordinary amount of emotion in the room when I worked with my client last night.

I relayed to my therapist things that happened for me in my body, what it felt like, the counter transference that happened and the transference.

And.

That I recognized that some of what I was feeling was my clients and some of what I was feeling was mine.

Thank God for a great therapist.

We isolated it.

Or.

I isolated it.

She did what therapist do, good therapists, she held the field, she let me find my way, she made some connections for me that I didn’t see, she held me with empathy, she validated my experience, she reflected and gave me perspective.

And.

Holy shit.

There it was.

And I broke down and bawled.

Great big ugly tears.

Relieved to get it out.

Although it tried to stick for a second.

It tried really hard.

It did not want to come out.

I was choked with grief.

Stricken.

I got it out though and I named the emotions I was feeling.

Trying to stuff them all into the crumpled ball of tissue in my moist hand.

Guilt.

Shame.

Unendurable guilt.

For getting out, for doing better, for surviving.

For being financially “well off.”

Bwahhahahahaaha.

Have you seen my student loan statement?

I have.

Meh.

Anyway.

Though I may have a fuck ton of student loans, fuck it, I’m worth the investment, I am, I am, I also have a modicum of financial security and I have a nice little home and I have nice little things.

I have a scooter.

I have a bicycle.

I have security.

In so much as I continue working at the pace I am working.

I don’t have much of a security blanket in the savings account.

But hey.

I have a savings account.

When I think about how successful I am in comparison to my mom or my sister and how I have always managed to find a way out, I sometimes, more so than I want to admit, have guilt.

And then.

I belittle my experiences or my own traumas, because, man, they had and have it bad too, and I’ve found a way through.

There is no way through but through.

It’s painful.

But.

Fuck.

It’s so worth it.

And I also see that I am not responsible for my sister, for my mother, for my father, my nieces.

I am, and can only be, responsible for myself.

But the guilt.

It hit me hard.

I was feeling awkward about an upcoming birthday in my family and I was relaying how many times, so many, too many to count, that I have sent gifts trying to foster some sense of connection and love to my family.

And.

Have not received it.

Oh.

I know there’s love.

But I haven’t the emotional connection to my family that I was trying to cultivate, a sort of reciprocation of love and that I need to let go of trying to get it the same way I have been doing so for decades.

We, my therapist and I, talked about how I might be able to establish connection, about what I could do.

I have to say it felt futile.

I was fucking flummoxed.

Then.

As I sat and the grief washed over me and I saw how hard I had tried to do something, taking the same action time and time again, that maybe there was another way.

Maybe.

I don’t know.

But I sussed a few things out and suddenly I had an answer.

It may not be “the” answer.

But.

It felt good to process it all out and find the connections and see how the traumatic experience that I bore witness to when I was with my client last night led me to work through and settle out something that has been nagging me for decades in my relationship to my sister and my nieces.

I don’t have a lot of close family.

Just my sister.

I have almost no relationship whatsoever with either of my nieces.

Although I helped significantly in the first years of my oldest niece’s life.

And I love her so much.

After I moved away from Wisconsin our relationship grew very thin.

My sister had troubles of her own and many challenges that I could not face for her.

Fuck.

I had to deal with my own shit.

The last time I saw my oldest niece was over fifteen years ago.

She was nine.

In a few days she will be 25.

I was nineteen when she was born.

I was the first person to hold her.

I saw her crowning.

I saw my sister endure the most excruciating pain.

I rocked that baby to sleep so many nights, I sang her songs, I can feel the heaviness of her carrier in my arms now.

I loved her beyond any previously known capacity to love.

And that is enough.

I gave what I could when I could and when the paths of my family and mine diverged, it was right to go the way I did.

To allow others the dignity of their own experiences.

To allow others to feel the weight of their choices, the consequences, good, bad, indifferent, to their actions, and not interfere.

I can still love my sister, my mother, my father, my nieces.

I can still love my cousins and aunts, uncles, my remaining grandparent.

But.

I don’t have to do so at the expense of myself.

I don’t have to lose myself in care taking.

I mean.

hahahaha.

Who the fuck am I kidding?

I’m a therapist in training, I may very well lose myself in it all over again, the care taking thing, but I also get to have boundaries and frames and I get to help in a way that won’t drain me.

At least that is what I have hope for.

I have a deep capacity for love and my experiences have borne this out.

I have and will always love my family.

I just won’t put their needs before mine any longer.

I deserve better.

And.

Well.

Fuck.

So do they.

Who the hell am I to decide how they should live their lives.

They have their own God.

As do I.

Thank God.

Grace.

Over.

Drama.

For the most part.

I was a hot mess yesterday and today in therapy but it got worked out and it got worked out fast.  So grateful for that.

Beyond words.

And though it may not seem cause for celebration.

It is.

And.

I am.

Yes.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

I am.

Ending With A Whimper

May 13, 2016

So not a bang.

However.

I did, between this morning and tonight, between yoga and a full day at work, get my notes organized, tabbed, and compiled, as well as finding all the things I want to reference for my big final paper for my Clinical Relationship class.

Suffice to say I am a bit zonked.

Up at 8 a.m.

Doing my morning routine, breakfast, coffee, writing, then starting to get my feet into the transference/countertransference pool, then yoga–which was really needed–and back here to the house, a quick shower, and yes!

I found a place to stay in Brooklyn!

Wait.

Fuck.

No I didn’t.

So bummed.

Cool loft in a warehouse in Bushwick, I had hopped on Air BnB to just peek at it before work and there it was!

I booked, made the request, plopped my credit card number down and waited to hear back.

I heard back later in the day and it was a let down.

The loft was only available three of the four nights I needed.

And I figured, well, I don’t want to be wandering around on my last day trying to negotiate one place to another, rather just say no thanks, and find something else.

Problem is that when I got home from work I was so beat down by the work day that I had barely any brain cells to rub together.

I looked a while on Air BnB but it just got to be too much and I decided that my main focus has to be organizing my big paper.

I got off the site and sorted out the rest of my readings and made loads of notes and probably have enough stuff to write a twenty page paper.

I just have to write it.

So tomorrow.

Another early start before work and no yoga, just the writing.

Getting as much done as possible, then work.

And work will not work me as much as it did today since I’m taking a half day to hit a doctors appointment, then back here to the house to finish up what ever I don’t write tomorrow morning.

Work really was full tilt boogie today.

In no particular order I went to the corner store and bought groceries, enough broccoli for three batches of my homemade soup, got milk for the boys for the next couple of days, boiled over a dozen eggs for the family to take to school; made the aforementioned soup, a quadruple batch by the recipe, actually; roasted a chicken, then later pulled all the meat that was remaining off the chicken for making chicken salad tomorrow for the boys lunches over the weekend; roasted radishes (yeah, you can do that, they’re pretty fucking tasty too) made sushi rice, cleaned up the house a bit, organized some of the boys stuff; and then took the two monkeys to the Farmer’s Market on Bartlett and 22nd where I juggled a full flat of strawberries, 5 pints of cherries, 1 container of cheese curds (CARMEN! CARMEN! CARMEN! Give me more cheese curds please, please, PLEASE!), smoked salmon for visiting pooh bahs, um, ha, I mean grandparents, basket of apricots, pint of mulberries, and one container garlic cheese dip.

Served dinner, did baths, did pajama time, did color time, did ALL the dishes, I mean, there was a lot of washing up, two gigantic bags of compost–I did so much food prep–took out recycling and tried to not think about the paper I have to write.

Tried.

It snuck in a few times, but most of the day I was too busy to breathe let alone think about transference, counter transference, Freud, Lessem, McWilliams, Kohut, Kahn, Stolorow, or any of the other characters who have had possession of my brain.

Let me tell you all about it.

Nah.

I’ll bore you to sleep.

I watched the six year old do classic splitting and projecting around the mom as he experienced separation anxiety in regards to the imminent grand parent visit, and tried to feed the anxious dog as many scraps as I could sneak.

I love my job though and it’s a good family I work for, grandparents just mean more work and I seem to forget that.

Then again.

This was my first time having a paper due on a Friday rather than at the end of the weekend and it has thrown me off my stride a little.

I was laughing to myself.

Full time work after this year of school is going to feel like a vacation.

I joked with a friend that I’ll be flying across the country to New York to take a nap.

Although.

I did have a moment in yoga today.

A revery slipped in.

A Queens of Harlem sort of thought.

And Harlem is not somewhere I had thought about staying.

But it has a nice flavor to it when I say it.

And I was thinking too, hmm, I might need a tattoo while I’m in New York.

But.

First.

A place to stay.

I took out some money from my savings today too, made the transfer so I wouldn’t have to worry about the travel costs and told myself that I would let myself stay somewhere nice.

It don’t have to be fancy.

But nice.

I thought about some hipster hotel I had heard of until I saw the hipster price–$300 a night.

Fuck that.

But I can find a good place and I know it will happen.

Now that I have my notes and books organized I feel like tomorrow it will be just to show up to the page and the words will flow.

They always do.

I’m going to take a few more minutes tonight to poke around Air BnB.

But rest.

That’s where it’s really at for me right now.

A cup of tea, a little snack, a tiny bit of video to unwind.

Then sleep.

I have done a full days work.

Good work.

Strong work.

I have earned this rest.

It will be had.

Nighty night y’all.

May your dreams be full of Freudian slips.

Heh.

One Down

March 12, 2016

Two to go.

But it’s not as hard this go around.

I don’t know why or how, but I’m getting through a lot better, a lot more relaxed.

It helps that I turned in both the papers that were due and I am completely caught up and on par with all my readings.

I finished up today on my dinner break the tiny few pages I had left before my last class of the day and am very happy to know that for the rest of the weekend all I really need to do is show up and let the classes fall into place.

I had my last run as therapist today also.

Meaning I can sit back on the experience of having done six full hour therapy sessions with a client and now it’s my turn to be the client for the next six sessions.

That and a break from the dyad completely tomorrow, leaves me feeling a lot more relaxed and well, mellow.

Tired.

Of course.

Fuck.

I am tired.

And slightly annoyed, the internet, again, has been really touch and go in my studio for the last week and tonight I haven’t been able to get onto the Wi-Fi at all.

Frustrating.

I do have some things that need addressing, but I paid my phone bill over the phone and if worst comes to worse and I don’t get online tonight, I’ll post up this blog before I head into class tomorrow.

The weather is still a bit nuts out there and I will not be taking my scooter in and I won’t be taking MUNI in either, I will continue to allow myself the luxury of a car.

I got to get a ride in with a friend of mine in the cohort this morning and that was a lovely gift, I got to see her and I avoided the carfare.

That being said, I splurged and did a straight Lyft home tonight instead of doing the shared ride.

I wanted to get home and I wanted to run up to Other Avenues and grab a few groceries for the rest of the class weekend.

Lunch and dinner are packed, my books and notebooks and readers are switched out in my book bag—my Marilyn canvas sack from the Jeu de Paume in Paris.

I have an outfit in mind and all I have to do is this blog and chill the fuck out for a minute or two and let my brain unwind.

And sleep.

I will sleep well tonight.

I never sleep well before the first day back into class, today I got up on probably five, maybe five and a half hours of sleep.

Which, once in a while is ok, but I wouldn’t want to be around me very much if that was a continuing trend.

My brain was busy and it just took a while to drift off last night despite getting into bed sooner than I thought and being a bit tired from the yoga class I took yesterday morning.

I still had busy brain.

Tonight.

Well.

The brain is tired.

Grateful too.

I’m half way through the second semester of my first year of grad school.

This is happening.

I’m getting through.

Rather amazing.

And yes, there’s loads of work to do, and there always will be.

I have chosen a profession in which I will have to constantly be broadening my education and I will need to keep myself up to date and learn, learn new modalities, learn more about cultures, learn more about myself, I will always be learning.

That on one hand can seem exhausting, but on the other is rather fantastic, there is no end to the learning.

Yes.

I will want to be proficient in one area and be a good therapist, but I can go for a PhD, I can go forward and learn new things, I can be competent in more than one area, I can well, be of service and I will continue to find new ways to be and do so.

This is a beautiful thing.

I will always be finding and experiencing and gaining knowledge.

There will always be the learning and the growing and this is life, not just my career path or my new way of exploring how to be of better service to my community, but for myself, I will always be having a conversation with the material and how I can use my experiences to better help another.

It’s fascinating and tiring and amazing all at the same time.

In the therapist break out, after the dyads had finished, the professor leads us, the students who were therapist, through the session and lets us ask questions and break down what came up and for the first time I got to see, really well, totally in action how counter transference works and I was blown away at the power of the tool.

It’s a concept that I have understood at a very heady, intellectual level, and now, after the session today, which was the last session of the six, I got it, I got it bright and loud and clear and it was extraordinary.

In one fell swoop all the theory landed in my lap and showed itself to me and I got it.

I was stunned.

And happy.

I really am going to be a good therapist.

Not to, you know, be egotistical about it, but an honest assessment of my abilities at this point clearly does show an aptitude for the work.

Grateful for all the experiences on the way to this journey.

All the work that I wondered about and the whys and whereof and why am I working so fucking hard and when is this going to pay off and all the doubts, all the time I wondered, really, what am I going to be when I grow up?

A healer.

A helper.

A person of empathy.

A student.

Of life, love, God.

Gods time, I was reminded today is so different from my time.

I want things fast and quick and efficient, I don’t always want to do the work.

But.

Oh.

When I do.

The rewards.

Extraordinary.

I am so grateful to be in graduate school.

Even when I feel overwhelmed and I don’t know how it’s going to get done.

I know.

It will.

It gets done every time I show up and let go of my ideas about what is happening.

“You’re such a different person!” My lunch companion said to me with a chuckle and a sparkle in his eyes, “Remember when we first met?”

I did.

I was a bit mortified how big my defensive structures were when I first started class and how protective I felt about myself and the learning and how I just couldn’t find it to engage with the second year students.

I found myself laughing with him and open and engaged.

I have a dinner date with another friend from the cohort on our break in the late afternoon tomorrow and an ask for a day at the beach with another.

I am living a full, exquisite, divine life.

Not my idea of what it would look like at this point, God’s time, God’s plan, and I am grateful that I did not.

The journey has been so worth it.

No matter what happens, at this point on my path, I am exactly where I am supposed to be and I know it to my core.

That makes my heart happy.

And I get to carry that happiness with me the rest of the weekend.

Just show up.

To the page.

To the mat.

To the classroom.

To my life.

Show up.

Astonishing things will happen.

I promise.


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