I am fascinated in the relationship Jung and Freud had, from their closeness to their bitter separation. Concealed in their letters to each other there is an undertone of power and righteous ownership bathed in hermeneutics. I imagine a fight to the death and winners and losers. An evil cock fight wherein the bloody struggle is fought in the basement, while up on the roof and out in the open, theories fly proud like flags. Everything seemed to be at stake, as each man’s questioning of the others views called into doubt the others explanation of his whole life.
I notice this juxtaposition or power struggle with my analyst, when theory is thrown at each other, or should I say, when I throw theory back at him. I have found that I tend do this after an episode where my true self has opened up. I may have cried and felt hopeless and vulnerable during a previous session. When I have shown him my underbelly I feel like the powerless underdog, who is unbalanced, so I try to regain control through theory and debate. I wonder who taught me to compete this way and why I feel the need to compete and to win and what indeed was the prize? For whom is the battle being rein-acted for.
For me, I have made most of my important gains, and losses, where no theory exists. When our relationship is paramount and we share special moments, thats when the sparks fly. Rare and heartfelt admissions, on my analysts behalf, seem to rebalance our relationship and enable tenderness. It allows me a sense that we are together on this journey, and that it’s our journey, not just my own personal gravel path. In fact when my own analyst qualified, his analyst said to him; now forget all you have been taught and throw all theory out of the window. Perhaps he is my Grandfather.
8 responses to “Throw Theory Out The Window”
Wonderful posting Will – & interesting how you begin with some theory & then ‘throw it out of the window’ as you move into the intimacies of your therapy. Intriguing final sentence/question. Thank you so much for sharing …
Thanks for the comments Peter, much appreciated as ever!
Love this. Relationship matters and relationship heals. And often it’s the poor relationships which took us to therapy in the first place.
Thanks Christine, I hear you loud and clear!
A really well written piece – thank you Will. I completely understand what you mean about therapy showing your ‘soft underbelly’ . I personally found it really hard to open up and felt so exposed. I therefore ‘competed’ with the therapist and intellectualized to feel protected again and gain some control over what I was feeling. My therapist understood this and let me go at my own pace and said my ‘resistance’ was a sign that the therapy was working (I didn’t believe her at the time, but I do now!) As you say, it’s a journey you have to travel together. Thanks for sharing this – it takes courage.
Louise, we seem to be tapped in like osmosis 🙂 Thanks so much for the comments I really appreciate you taking the time. Fellow Soldier!
Beautifully shared Will. I would be very worried about an individual who didn’t resist having their underbelly exposed. If the self-protecting drive was not a default response, we could be damaged beyond repair. It just seems that often our protective mechanisms hinder us from healing. So it is in a safe environment, in a safe relationship, that we can dare to go to that tender place.
Thank you Quirina, you have put this really well. I appreciate your comments as always!