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Tag Archive for ‘Jungian’

Freudian Express: Dreams

If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, “I had the craziest dream last night,” I would be in Paris right now staying at the George V, drinking champagne and eating platters of foods not found on the menu of Applebee’s. Most of the time, people that share their “crazy” dreams with me tend to tell me their dream to illustrate how crazy their dreams are and not to actually understand it. They tell me, “There was a bear, a pig and a guy who looked like Simon Cowell, only he was really my mother, and we were on the tea cup ride at Disneyland and we had to make the teacups go really fast or Sarah Palin was going to start dancing on top of the Matterhorn,” and then they look at me, expecting me to affirm their sense of what a wacky dream it was and how their dream is proof that dreams are just wild and meaningless. Instead I calmly and quietly ask them, “So, what do you make of it?” The dreamer usually looks at me like I have asked them to explain advanced physics to them, replying, “I don’t know, it’s just crazy. ” And that is usually the end of it. The dream is then discarded and no further inquiry occurs.

Read the rest of this post over at my column Freudian Sip @ Psychology Today.

Have a lovely weekend! See you back here on Monday.

Top 10 Psychoanalysis Blogs (that Jung and Freud Would Read) asked me to compile a list of the Top Ten Psychoanalytic blogs. I was, as you can imagine, thrilled to have the task of creating the definitive who’s-who of bloggers who mine the unconscious from the relative comforts of a .com couch.

When I got the assignment I was sure I would be overwhelmed for choice. Sadly it wasn’t true. The truth is that hardly anyone is writing about being in therapy and not many therapists write about what it is like to do therapy. What I did find were dozens and dozens of wonderful psychoanalytically oriented blogs who had long ago given up the practice of blogging( interesting to note that many of them quit blogging in July. August is the month when analysts take off. My theory on this is that Freud, Jung, Rank and the others took August off because all of their patients went away for August as is done is the vacationally superior European countries. I guess Freud and his analytic circle went off to Bermuda or Club Med or to Sandals for the summer [just for fun try and imagine Freud in Speedos and sipping a MaiTai and see if you can do it without needing a session or two of therapy to wash that image from your psyche]. This tradition stuck and analysts all over the world continue to take the month of August off). So anyways, many psychoanalysts that were blogging quit in July and never returned after their summer break. It happens a lot. It is so common that I worried that I might not be able to come up with ten active psychoanalytically oriented blogs  for my list.
Continue reading ‘Top 10 Psychoanalysis Blogs (that Jung and Freud Would Read)’

Today I only have the strength to post two things and to ask for a favor

Two things:

1. The photo-shoot was fun, hard, scary, nerve wracking and exhausting. And it all turned out well. Forest and Bluff has my photo and now there is nothing for me to do but wait for the magazine to come out.  Did I mention how exhausting it was? Truly. I am not sure why,but it was completely exhausting. Now I get why the Supermodels make the big bucks. I haven’t been this tired since my summer of mono and/or the time I went on a weekend camping trip with the Brownies ( I came home and fell asleep in the bath tub). Continue reading ‘Today I only have the strength to post two things and to ask for a favor’

Space: The Final Frontier

No, these are not the days of the Star-ship Enterprise. This is me thinking about why exactly I signed up for the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program. And it all comes down to space.

The first time I saw Igor I was astonished by how much space he created for me and still felt close, there and with me. The first session was especially palpable as I had never been in that kind of space before. And I had done a whole lot of therapy prior to finding Igor, through out my 20′s and 30′s and there had even been some back in the tweens and teens. I tell you that not to dig up the painful truth that I have spent as much money on therapy as I have grad school and I have likely spent more time in therapy than I have at the beach, parties, and or any other recreational activities( in my defense I must say that I am not big on recreational activities).

Soon after I began with Igor an old boyfriend came to mind and how whenever I left Igor’s office I never thought of this guy. This is where things get tricky so I will type slowly and expect you to read slowly, as it is going to be tough to follow this logic. Okay, so for the ten years that I saw the yellow toothed Jungian, after almost 80% of our sessions I would think about this guy. And as I was just married and wanted to stay that way I wasn’t all together thrilled about this guy popping up in my consciousness post-session. I thought it meant that I was a hot mess and that I was drawn to something self-injurious. Why exactly was I thinking about this guy who was as healthy a choice as a heroine-speed-ball-Oxycontin cocktail with a vodka-hemlock chaser? I told old Yeller and he never had an answer. He would say “interesting” and then go off about some obscure Minoan fairytale and how the Princess wanted to date a poisonous snake.  I would say “uh-huh” knowingly and nod my head and pretend I had some idea what he was talking about. But the truth is that I didn’t. We kept up this farce for  TEN years( feel free to laugh at me in the comment portion of this post).

On the way to Igor’s office each week I pass the condo of the parent’s of the poisonous snake. I can’t help it. They live in a condo on a main street and to avoid them like some kind of black cat would take a lot of traipsing around circuitous side streets. Driving L.A. is difficult enough without adding unnecessary side-streets. So I didn’t. And each week I passed their condo and each week I passed the church I imagined we might marry and each week after Igor’s I wouldn’t think about him. He just didn’t come to mind.

After several months of seeing Igor it came to my consciousness that I hadn’t thought about him and so I told Igor. As soon as he heard of my decade of post-session rumination he asked me what my associations to poison paramour were. I explained that he was VERY bad for me and yet when we had been together there had been enormous intensity. It was one of those toxic relationships that required me to keep a shot of adrenaline around as when I would hear his voice I would go into near anaphylactic shock. Igor, upon hearing my associations immediately had an interpretation. Your mind was trying to tell you something: 1)It was trying to tell you that the relationship with your old analyst lacked intensity and so it picked a symbol to compensate for the lack of connection. Secondly, it picked a symbol of a man that was clearly not a healthy choice. Your mind was saying: You need a therapist where there is more connection and this guy you are seeing is not a healthy choice. He was right. The yellow-toothed Jungian was highly-intensity impaired. His passion level never got about a Nordic high of cool, calm, collected and, perhaps, a bit constipated.

I remember one session with Yeller in which I was totally overwhelmed by all the things that I might chose to talk about and so I just sat there. I sat there for five, ten, twenty, thirty-five, forty, fifty-minutes, The  session was over and I did not say a single word. Old Yeller never said anything.  And on sessions when I did say something I never felt like we connected. There seemed to be this constant missing. I would say something and he wouldn’t get it and then he would go an scholarly diatribe about what Jung said or what the Greeks said or some other ancient culture said and he would  carefully stay far away from what I said.  Each week I would leave feeling confused, unheard and, to be honest, incredibly stupid. As I look back I don’t know why on earth I stayed so long. I guess that the truth is that I thought he was the best because he was so smart that I had no idea what he was saying. Note to all who are considering therapy: My reasoning was ridiculous. One should be able to understand their therapist. One should not need to speak ancient Greek or Aramaic in order to work on one’s father complex. I think that the other issue is that I thought be being there and sitting at his feet, I thought that it meant I was smart. It did not.

With Igor I feel a connection. He is there and with me and totally attuned and yet I have plenty of space. When we first started to work, I marveled that one could be connected and still have space ( this tells you everything you need to know about my family of origin issues).He gives me space when I need it and he somehow knows when he needs to interrupt my silences. Igor would NEVER-EVER-EVER let me get away with 50 minutes of silence.  NEVER. And that is a good thing.

Almost as soon as I experienced the space that Igor created for me I knew that I wanted to create it for my clients. I wanted to learn how to do this and this is why I enrolled in the program. I enrolled because I want to became an inner architect. I want to create spaces that contain. I want to create environments where change can occur. And I wouldn’t hate it if I ended up getting some referrals out of it. I also wouldn’t mind some personal growth. And to be completely candid, I get a hunch that it will be good for my writing, but that isn’t something I admitted to on my application for the program. I don’t imagine Psychoanalytic Institutes like to think of themselves as memoir and blog fodder.

Breaking news: Therapy at 11

Every week when I am on my way to Igor’s, almost without fail, I see a local TV news anchor leave his building. Now I am in no way implying that this newsreader is coming from Igor’s. Actually, I would, if pressed, make an impressive and perhaps illogically emotional argument against the idea that this woman and I share the same psychoanalyst.  Perhaps it is some kind of weird snobbery or elitism that makes me recoil at the idea of this and I am perfectly happy to own that and even spend a session with Igor exploring why that idea might be so repellent to me ( however I do feel like I have bigger psychological fish to fry; fish the size of Moby Dick that make my antipathy towards Igor seeing this woman as a patient seem the size of a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich).
Continue reading ‘Breaking news: Therapy at 11’

It’s not really a small world after all

That’s what he said to me when he saw me. It’s true. He’s right. The circles we move in we are bound to see each other. I suppose when the moon and sun see each other it might be what they say. When one lives in the same circles one is bound to have some interlapping geometry.
Continue reading ‘It’s not really a small world after all’

About Me

My name is Tracey, aka La Belette Rouge. I am a psychotherapist and the author of Freudian Sip @ Psychology Today. I blog about psychology, my therapy, dreams, writing, meaning making, home, longing, loss, infertility and other things that delight or inspire me. I try to make deep and elusive psychodynamic concepts accessible and funny. For more information, click here .
These blog posts are informational only and not meant to replace individual psychotherapy, counseling or medical advice. If you are in need of help, reaching out to a professional may help you decide how to proceed or how to find the care you need. For a referral, contact

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