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, N. (1989). Afterword. Brit. J. Psychother., 5(4):593-594.

(1989). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 5(4):593-594

Afterword Related Papers


Looking at the text of a session held six months ago is rather like seeing an old photograph of oneself surrounded by friends from the past. One notices faces and stances which are very familiar and yet at the same time dislocated by the time which has passed. The eyes which do the viewing belong to now and the ‘photo’ or text belongs to then.

The group has changed; Andy never did return and Lyalle left suddenly two months later. Neither were heard from again and subsequent speculation about the reasons went without confirmation. Before Lyalle left Derek was sentenced to three years three months, which shocked the group as we all thought he would receive a non-custodial sentence.

Having read through the session it may be helpful if I underline certain points about some of the individuals. Ever since Andy joined the group and Peggy formed her attachment to him I had been aware that she used him to say things which she could not say to me. Not only could she not say them to me but I think she could not feel them much either. I was the recipient of her hurt and angry feelings and Andy of her loving maternal feelings. Two sides of a coin but neither was I just a son. She would have been too deeply ashamed to say the things she said to Andy to me. The group is to this day determined to keep her isolated and the sole possessor of the strong feelings of love and hurt towards me, even though the notion of me meaning more to them than they to me is sometimes aired.

Katie has words which are in themselves powerful and recall painful events yet her flat delivery and the impression she gives of only remembering the highlights renders the meaning equivocal and in bits.

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