Psychoanalytic Experience

It’s my turn to experience the safety of the analytic couch for fifty minutes. Another sentence awaits me: I wonder whether it’s worth the risk. Since each fifty-minute hour is its own process of discovery, my imagination will probably provide me with a response before I leave his office. Images speak louder than words, although words are how communication occurs during a session. Is that true? I haven’t arrived at the building where the couch awaits me, and I feel myself communicating with my analyst, in images and in words, in my mind. My own patients would understand what I’m trying to express to myself, no? That might be the problem. I’m trying to control, to make sense of, my inner experiences. In a good session, either in my office or in my analyst’s, both patient and analyst have moments, hopefully many minutes of moments, when the unconscious introduces itself, through images and words, into their thoughts and speech. It is a risk to speak before another, in part because the very nature of this communication involves speaking within oneself. All of these sentences have come to me unannounced, and I wish I were seated or on the couch so that I might be more receptive to this inner experience. I’m still trying to control what happens in my mind, and my unconscious mind doesn’t have to remind me that it’s futile. I’m reminded of this futility every day. My analyst’s office is minutes away. I’m willing to risk attempting to say whatever comes to mind. Lots of things that come to me won’t be spoken, and my analyst might experience their unspoken presence. The experience of all of this communication, verbal and nonverbal, makes the session worth it.

 

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