There was a time when I used to believe in psychoanalysis. To me it made much more sense than the other modalities, especially behavior modification, but I’ll get to that in another story. This will basically sum up my experience with Dr. Bernard Weintraub, Psychoanalist, and my last day in his office.
This particular session I spent really working on trying to get in touch with my feelings. I went back to my childhood and let everything that came to mind come pouring out — When my father tried to strangle me. When my brother electrocuted my fish. When I was afraid to go to sleep at night because I thought someone was going to take me to save me from my father. When my boyfriend put me in the trunk of his car to sneak me into the drive-in movies and forgot about me until he was almost home. I told him one distressful thing after another. It was awful reliving all those images, and I was crying.
Remembering that Dr. Weintraub had a box of Kleenex on his desk, I stood up from my designated reclining position on his sofa and walked over to reach for a tissue. On my way back to the couch, I could see that Dr. Weintraub was writing in a book and thought it strange because it wasn’t like him to take notes during our sessions. For a second I thought that perhaps my childhood stories touched something so deep within him that he felt compelled to capture every word. But when I walked a bit closer to him, I saw that the son of a bitch was balancing his checkbook! And when I asked him why he would do such a thing during my time with him, he said “Lie back down and tell me your fantasy. Tell me everything you’re feeling at this moment.” I wanted to say “Are you kidding you fucking asshole?” but instead I just turned around and walked out and never looked back.
I don’t believe in psychoanalysis any longer. You know, all it really is is the therapist holding up a mirror to you so that you can see the reflection of your inner self. And what I learned from the two years I spent in psychoanalysis is that it’s a lot less expensive to buy your own mirror.
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