Psychoanalysis through the looking glass
- Dear Frau,
- I visited the Freud museum in London last weekend. It was really something. There was SF’s office and consulting couch, his oriental carpet, book-case and, if one is still young enough to bend down and look beneath his desk, one can espy a fossilised pooh from his favourite dog, Gazinklenut*. But a curious thing happened. It was just before closing time and I jumped the chain barrier and lay down on the famous couch, whereupon I fell asleep and had this dream:
- “Freud had entered the room somehow. His movements were quick and furtive and he was anxiously puffing on his cigar. He pranced over to the book case and after shuffling a few books around, a panel opened. I felt compelled and indeed fated to follow. Braving the musty smell, I entered and managed to just glimpse SF muttering off into the mist. I tried to keep him in my sights while shouting: “Dr. Freud, Dr Freud! Wait for me!”
- I think he knew I was following him because he paused, looked back and I heard: “Where id goes ego shall follow!” and then he shrieked with laughter. Finally he came to a halt at a little door and said to me that in order to pass through he would have to shrink me. He lay me down on a little magic mushroom and we went into analysis for what seemed years and years and years. The earth spun round, the sun set and rose and the seasons came and went. Finally, I was small enough in stature and self esteem to finally squeeze through the aperture. Again he got away from me and disappeared into the mist.
- All of a sudden the air cleared and there they all were: Janet, Breuer, Anna O. and even Fliess. Cocaine was everywhere, hysterical limbs adorned the tablecloth and free association was in the air. They were arguing and slapping each other, trying to get Sigmund’s attention. He was sitting, unconcerned, at the head of the table trimming his nose hairs.
- Then they saw me.
- "Who are YOU?" demanded Fliess.
- I replied: “I am not sure Sir, I mean, I think I knew this morning when I got up, but I am much smaller now and have to seriously reconsider life and all it’s meaning.”
- “I think you are conflicted” he said. “You must enter analysis”
- “Not again!” I screamed above the din.
- "Oh, you can't go back now," said Fliess, “We're all analysts here and you are the only patient we have seen in the last 100 years."
- "How do you know I need treatment?” I whimpered.
- "You must" said Fliess, "Or you wouldn't be here”
- At this point they all got up and started chasing me, chanting: “What comes to mind, what comes to mind, what comes to miiiind……”
- I awoke in a sweat and in my hand I was clutching the stub of Freud’s cigar. And Frau, it was still warm.
- Please, what does this dream mean? I am afraid to go to sleep at night in case they come for me.
- Late onset enuretic.
Dear wet one,
You have seen into the future. As the profession dies, there will be too few patients and too many idle psychoanalysts. However, at this very moment a task force of a chosen few (the lamedvavs**) are working on a short-term version of psychoanalysis. Here the patient stands up for the entire session on a bed of nails and the session ends only when the patient agrees to change his behaviour. Follow us on Twitter.
*small, hard bowel emission
** a group of 36 righteous psychoanalysts.