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Spring, C. (2009). Twenty Helpful Things My Therapists Said. Att: New Dir. in Psychother. Relat. Psychoanal., 3(3):344-352.

(2009). Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 3(3):344-352

Twenty Helpful Things My Therapists Said

Carolyn Spring

1. I like Pineapple

I don't suppose it is unusual to like pineapple, but here was a person who liked pineapple and blueberries, who ate breakfast, who was real: alive and different and existing in her own right, someone who ate pineapple, not just someone who wanted to hurt me. There was a delectable simplicity about liking pineapple, and that throwaway comment crashed against months of avoidant haranguing and fearful apprehension of this person who otherwise had seemed unknowably untrusting of me. Now, in three words, I felt trusted - trusted to know that she likes pineapple. And the tiny enormity of that pineapple, exposed in a languid disclosure, made us realize how little we knew of normal, of favourite fruit and breakfasts without dread and a sore throat.

2. I Don't Think Sex is Yuk

Possibly said in defeat, not knowing how to counter indignant, adolescent repulsion, but a breakthrough none the less, peeling away layer upon layer of darkest assumption that sex is yuk, that all sex is yuk, that everyone finds sex yuk. I don't think sex is yuk - a dazzling possibility, shocking, promising, hopeful. Someone brave enough, convinced enough, at last to say: there is good sex, sex that is not perverted or disgusting or harmful or coercive or humiliating or sickening or abusive. And so, a summary of the wrongness of what happened to us and a validation of our clenched-tight-knowing that it was wrong, that we hated it, that we were right to hate it, and relief that there is something else, something better, something unpolluted and clean and wholesome and lovely; a validation that the ache within us for something good, something not-yuk, is OK.

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