Winter 1985 York
Psychotherapy and counselling only works if the recipient has insight into their condition or problem
So many " professionals" allow their time to be an emotional romp rather than an effort to explore the roots of the problem and yesterday I was reminded of a moment when I witnessed a real eureka moment during a therapeutical interaction.
The moment was a pivotal one.
The patient had slashed at her arms and neck with broken crockery after a particularly difficult weekend leave at home and was being seen by the psychologist moments after allowing me to dress her wounds. She was crying and forlorn, but managed to share that her husband had emotionally battered her during a family celebration designed to celebrate her inpatient improvement and removal from a mental health section.
Much of her therapy was concerned with abuse this patient had received at the hands of a critical and emotionally weak, jealous father.
Confused and distraught the patient kept referring to her husband's behaviour by repeating the words " Why.... why why? " as she ripped at her bandages and as I stood to intervene the psychologist, a thin , vital little Yorkshireman waved me away with a grim smile
He knelt at the patient's feet, took her hands and caught her gaze
"His teeth fit your wounds" he said slowly " His teeth fit your wounds!"
" Do you understand?" and eventually through her tears the patient nodded
The link between her choice of husband with the behaviour of the ghost of her father clarified by a simple phrase.