The Couch Sessions

Each session is different and yet when I lie down they tend to connect together in a chain: start of this one to end of last one. How do you start a conversation that takes place continuously over 50 minute sessions, weekly? Some start with a routine anxiety: someone said something to me that made me think, a look she gave me this morning, a note I saw when I got to my desk. Most begin with eye rubbing after the removal of my own glasses. 

Delving into the unconscious is mining for coal you know is there and you know will be dangerous: you start at the surface, you know there won’t be much there and before you know it, you are knee deep in pit slag and the water of your own anxiety, denial or whatever happens to be there when you arrive. I am lying on the couch, me, on the couch. I am rubbing the leather sides of the couch with the palms of my hands, scraping away another layer of the day, the few days before the session. I am trying to mine quicker than I should, I am putting pressure on myself to reach the seam quicker because the clock is ticking. The pressure becomes the anxiety that this is about. Say something significant, say something profound that has a double meaning. The pressure is now the motivation to say something rational, connected to the last utterance, grammatically correct. There’s another seam over there but I’m elbow deep in this one. Which is more important? Will she know I am going for something else now? There has to be a rational connection between one and the other, right? Otherwise, she won’t know what I am on about. 
I am not on the couch then anymore: I am using a service. A service with time and a payment. I am here to fill the time. No wait, I am here to talk about me. I don’t want to talk about me. I am not here: people do that, right? we do that all the time, don’t we? No, not me. Don’t ask me if I feel that way. I’m not here, remember? I am not involved in this so don’t ask me. Always with the questions. I’m the one putting pressure on myself. I am just here, now, on the couch, covering my belly with my clasped hands. That’s too defensive, she’ll think I am hiding something. Hands are rubbing the leather again, yea, that’s real. Not like the thoughts in my head, they’re not real. They don’t really matter; they’re of no consequence. Sher what does it matter what I say anyway? 

6 thoughts on “The Couch Sessions

  1. 73 man it certainly does matter.
    I just wanted to say that thats some really beautiful, honest prose right there.

  2. I’m not quite sure what I want to say about this apart from that I enjoyed reading it and that it was really vivid, honest writing. So that, I suppose, is what I’ll say!

  3. It being stream of conscious writing works really well for the subject matter. I think it’s one of the reasons it’s so vivid.

  4. This is excellent, I can really relate to what you’re saying. Psychiatrists should get patients to write stuff like this even before their first session. It speaks volumes!

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