Musical Chairs

By Will

My current course of therapy began with my therapist and I sitting facing one another. Man to man discussions involving facial expression, eye contact and movement. After a year like this I finally plucked up courage and we began to discuss the couch, which sat far away in another corner of the room. I wondered who lay on there, I wondered what would happen if I lay on there. The couch was discussed for quite sometime and eventually it seemed to take on gargantic and magical proportions. The day came when out of the blue I stood up from my chair and lay myself down. The resistance was startling. I could not see my therapist anymore and I felt isolated, watched and extremely uncomfortable. After a few weeks, lying on the couch became second nature, and I could not imagine sitting back on the chair again. Our therapy changed at that point and I was no longer as conscious of what I said or how I said it. Unfettered speech flowed and I became surprised how open I was without eye contact.

For two years our seating arrangements remained like this, until recently, when I began to feel a compulsion to sit on the floor. It felt a little crazy but I had to bring this up and for a few weeks we would discuss the possible meanings of my desire to get down on the floor. Again, one day out of the blue, I made the leap and there I was sitting cross legged in front of my therapist on the floor. This only lasted a few sessions, as it was quite uncomfortable. The next time I entered the room I took another seat next to the desk opposite my therapist. We looked at each other and we both beamed naively. Neither of us knew what was going on with all this movement, but it just seemed right.

Once again our relationship changed. We started to laugh more together and we stayed away from theory and debate. We talked about politics and art and a whole rainbow of things, and although our professional relationship remained, a new friendship seemed to begin to flourish. I started to feel a new sense of equality with him and for the first time we talked about the possibility of separation and what that meant. Later on we realised that my movement around the room mirrored the internal movements and shifts that were taking place within me. Each view point around the room gave me an alternative perspective, a new way of seeing things. It also highlighted the need to escape the pain of uncomfortable feelings and emotions. Rather than staying with these feelings I needed to move away and escape from them like a fight or flight reaction.

Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain ~ Carl G. Jung

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2 Comments

Filed under My Experiences On The Couch

2 responses to “Musical Chairs

  1. Peter Wilkin

    Seems like you’re beginning to check out life at the edge of the nest, Will ~ with a view to flying away before too long?

    As ever, privileged to read about your therapy experiences. Huge thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks Peter, I think that you hit the nail right on the head there. Interesting that I am actually sitting close to the door at the moment : ) Always value your comments, they mean alot to me.

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