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Re: The Introduction (In Session)

Posted by Tamar on May 19, 2005, at 17:41:53

In reply to The Introduction (In Session), posted by Dinah on May 16, 2005, at 19:29:08

Yippee! My book arrived today. I'll read it tonight and then post.

But having read what you guys have said, I was really struck by the idea of the therapy relationship as having a tragic dimension. The word 'tragic' is very significant to me (I read quite a few Greek tragedies a few years ago).

In classical tragedy there's often a collision between two things that are equally right but nevertheless opposing forces. Like Antigone, whose brother is killed in the process of attacking her city. She has a sisterly duty to bury her brother, but a civic duty to leave his body to the dogs. Both potential courses of action are right, but either will get her into trouble.

I do think the therapy relationship is tragic because one good thing (a real relationship) collides with a contrary good thing (professional boundaries limiting the relationship).

And the other significant thing is that tragic heroes (that's us!) often devote their lives to a search for meaning in suffering. If there were no search for meaning, it wouldn't really be tragic.

And furthermore, tragic heroes suffer because of circumstances entirely beyond their control - usually circumstances arranged by the gods, though not necessarily. Admittedly, tragic heroes are flawed, but who isn't? They are ultimately not fully responsible for what happens to them. I find this a comforting idea when considering mental health, and considering the therapeutic relationship, in which our only control is in how much we tell.

Hmmm... I'll go read the book now...




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