These modern analysts! They charge so much. In my day, for five marks Freud himself would treat you. For ten marks, he would treat you and press your pants. For fifteen marks, Freud would let you treat him, and that included a choice of any two vegetables. Thirty dollars an hour! Fifty dollars an hour! The Kaiser only got twelve and a quarter for being Kaiser! And he had to walk to work! And the length of treatment! Two years! Five years! If one of us couldn’t cure a patient in six months we would refund his money, take him to any musical revue and he would receive either a mahogany fruit bowl or a set of stainless steel carving knives. I remember you could always tell the patients Jung failed with, as he would give them large stuffed pandas.
At one time I was really hooked on a TV series In Treatment, especially its first and second season (you can see the trailer here). Gabriel Byrne plays a psychotherapist, who has weekly sessions with his patients and his own therapy sessions. The format was brilliant, I think – two people facing each other, having a deep meaningful conversation. Half an hour just flew by. I guess what appealed to me in that series was that it showed people behind their facades, real gut reactions but also various patterns and stories that govern people’s lives. I simply enjoy observing and finding out what makes people tick and I find small talk rather draining. I hope a fellow blogger does not mind me including his cartoon here:
I might have used Woody Allen’s quote as a motto, but in fact I do believe in therapy, or rather I believe in certain therapists and a sacred bond that they are able to create with the patient. The method is secondary I believe, all that matters is an alchemical relationship that forms between the patient and the therapist. First and foremost they need to be right for each other. Specific patients gravitate towards specific therapists, I think.
But the reason I am writing this is to recommend a certain art project I have been following with enthusiasm and awe recently. Like therapy, it is about fascinating dialogue, and what makes it so good is that it is not staged, but completely natural. Kelsey Lynore of the Tarot Nook has been working with the tarot since she was 13. That piece of information was enough to blow my mind because I discovered the esoteric world when I was 26 years old. What I really appreciate about her approach to the tarot is that she is as far away from eso tv as possible, she is completely natural and she does not need a starry backdrop or spooky tunes to do her tarot readings. Nonetheless, even without the props but thanks to her insights, she totally embodies the high priestess to me. The tarot is meant to inspire, to deepen our understanding and to show us the hidden patterns (archetypes) influencing our lives. It is like the mirror that we can set up to our deeper thoughts and intentions. It is about myth and storytelling, as Kelsey says. It has nothing to do with fatalism.
Basically the project is about Kelsey giving free tarot readings via skype to volunteers who are brave enough to let themselves be recorded and put on youtube. What I found most shocking, being a secretive introvert, was that people actually revealed a lot during these sessions, acting naturally and spontaneously. I have seen all the ten parts of the Spring edition of the Anti-Film Tarot Art Project. I loved each installment, but parts 3 and 9 somehow linger in my memory for whatever reason. Like therapy, the tarot is a tool that might not appeal to everybody but if you view life through the lenses of myth and narrative, like me, you will enjoy watching Kelsey in action.
Here is a link to her channel:
She is looking for volunteers for the summer project.