One of the fascinating things about analytic therapy is that everything goes into the hopper: your life, your feelings, your relationships, your depredations – even your accidents can be grist for therapy. This recent piece in the New York Times highlights a good example of how seemingly random accidents can bring our personal histories to the fore, and help patient and therapist alike discover meaning in something that may have seemed meaningless.
The author’s patient suffered burns over the summer, and the injury and its aftermath underscored some longstanding issues of enmeshment with the patient’s mother. On the subject of her mother’s prurient interest in the extent of these injuries, for instance, the patient reports:
“And my mother replied: ‘It’s my trauma, too. In fact, I think I’m more traumatized by it than you.’”
Sometimes the things we say illuminate far more than we intend, and psychoanalysis is a perfect forum to explore these valences. The mother’s words in this case provide a nice starting to explore what has gone wrong between these two women.
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is the only existing modality that lets us understand our lives and histories from an emotional perspective. As the writer says:
One of the things I miss most about my own analysis is the suddenness with which strange events could emerge, knocking you over backward. And toward the very end it felt as if you could time-travel, bouncing between a past and present whose surface was fabricated by an ancient mythology, the wondrous accident that was your existence.
If you’d like to explore the fundamental psychology that continues to influence your life and choices, please contact PPSC to find a therapist today.