The Case of the Burnt Pudding

In the fall of 1892 Freud had a patient known as Lucy R. She presented at her own medical physician with symptoms of chronic rhinitis and olfactory hallucinations of burnt pudding. She was referred to Freud for Psychoanalysis. This woman worked as a governess for a widowed man cooking and caring for his children. One day the father who was a violent and abusive man gave out to the governess for a minor matter involving the children. This experience in combination with the olfactory smell of burnt pudding led the woman to fall into a state of hysteria as it was known as at the time.

Through her analysis Freud discovered that as a child this woman was sexually abused by her father and on one of these traumatic occasions there was a pudding burning in the kitchen. In modern day life what this woman experienced is known as dissociation which was triggered by the smell of the pudding and the abusive male opposite her. Lucy was thrown back into the abuse at that moment which caused a hysteric reaction.
To understand more about what happens when abusive memories are recovered please consider attending our conference by Dr Michael Paterson on “Working with Trauma & Dissociation in survivors of sexual abuse” on feb 28th 2014. Fee €125. CPD points available for the day.