Chapter 5- A Rose by Any Other Name…

A rose by any other name is still a rose. Yep, it’s me slaughtering Shakespeare’s beautiful line from his play ‘Romeo and Juliet’. If you’ll allow, I’ll continue to twist that passage for my own purpose. I’d like you to know that “My therapist by any other name is still my therapist”.

So, what am I getting at? I’m on a mission to name my therapist. It’s kinda weird cuz it feels like when we have the opportunity to name our child or our dog. In my tales of therapy that I’m sharing with you now, my therapist is my creation, so to speak. No, I’m not inventing her reality and I’m not making stuff up about her kindness, her wisdom, her guidance, and her caring.

No, what I’m creating is MY version of her – how ‘I’ receive her help, how ‘I’ interpret her PRESENCE during our sessions She is not an independent entity outside of my own mind – in this story.

And within this story I don’t want to be shackled by limitation of words. I don’t want my references to her to be limited to only “my therapist” or “my T”. I want to give her a touch more personality and to achieve that I need to name her.

So, why don’t I use her given name? That’s a question easy to answer- simply, to protect her. Protect her from what, you ask?        Fame.

Fame, we know, is corrosive. Fame destroys people. We read the news and we know it’s true. I don’t want that such misfortune befall my therapist. Her fame will be unnamed. People will refer to her centuries from now and wonder who she was. Myths will abound about her.

I know you’re shaking your head in confusion at the moment. You’re wondering why and how my therapist will become so famous.

She’ll become famous because of me

My stories will enter the annals of psychotherapy. They’ll enter the textbooks that future psychotherapists will study. They’ll become the touchstone of understanding of the client’s point of view when they enter a relationship with a therapist.

I know. I know. You’re now thinking that I’m being quite presumptuous by believing that my tales will have value and meaning and will last the ages. You’re right. Presumptuousness is my right.

And you – you will help me. You’ll read my accounts of my encounters with myself in therapy and you will recognize that you’ve experienced such unpleasant and pleasant emotions with that relationship with therapist. Or you’re just beginning your therapy journey fully aware of some of the unique challenges that being in therapy offer – thanks to my story.

And so, you’ll tell your friends. Your friends will tell their friends. And so on. The movement of taking over the world will have begun. Well, not taking over the world, exactly, but you know what I mean.

So, back to naming my therapist. My first thought was to name her Lucy. You know, Lucy from the Peanuts cartoon who has her own psychiatrist booth and offers advice for 5 cents. She IS the most famous psychiatrist I know. But then I quickly realized that Lucy’s advice is almost always useless and I didn’t want you to associate my own therapist with the dubious and sometimes cruel advice that Lucy has given.

Ahhh, having naming rights is powerful. But -what responsibility. Once my therapist is named, how difficult it may be to make a change.

So, how does one name her therapist? I googled that question and ,surprisingly, I got no hits. I must be the first person to have taken on such work. Along with the power I feel, I also feel honored and humbled by such a task.

I guess I came back to the same method that I used to choose my therapist in the first place – by the sound of her name. (Check out ‘voodoo magic’ in Chapter 2 – Mail Order Bride.)

So, my therapist’s name, now, is Anne. Or should I say, her pseudonym, her fake name.

For the duration of my tale, I’ll switch off between using ‘my therapist’, ‘my T’, and ‘Anne’.

You won’t forget her name, will you?

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