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Herman, N. (1984). The Long Way Home. Brit. J. Psychother., 1(2):152-156.

(1984). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 1(2):152-156

Personal Experience

The Long Way Home

Nini Herman

A motherly, small personage, in a vaguely Eastern dress, bade me follow her upstairs. Ageless, timeless, effortless, she floated up ahead to me. Everything about her seemed elusive, yet entirely real, enchanting and yet business-like. Two chairs were standing face to face. They seemed to dominate the room as an Alter does a Church. I felt that God was watching us, or maybe it was really Jung. Possibly the two were one, I asked myself uncertainly.

What did she expect of me, this lady with the gentle smile? It seemed J. wanted me to come and see her three times every week. Her fee, she said, would be three pounds. The times were such and such she read from an impressive diary, and she was glad that I had come…

Three times a week I went along and sat obediently in her chair, seeing she expected this. I wanted to do everything exactly as she would expect and be no trouble. It was kind that she permitted me to come, considering how bad I was, the awful things that I had done. I only hoped that I could hide the wicked thoughts that crossed my mind the very minute I sat down.

Since I hid these from myself as thoroughly as possible I could not even pin them down. They were certainly concerned with feelings both of love and hate that I experienced towards J. Feelings as old as I myself, maneuvering somewhere, in the dark, to have an airing at long last. Here was their opportunity.

But none of this was taken up, if my memory serves me well. The Jungian Cosmology seemed to be above such matters as an infant and her mother, let along her breast or milk: nothing homely in this realm of ‘the Shadow’ and ‘Persona’, of the awesome Archetype.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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