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Tag Archive for ‘Belette in Psychotherapy’

The power of being noticed

I have been going to Igor’s for a little over two years. Each time I walk from the parking garage to Igor’s office I pass a security officer who guards a chic and spendy Beverly Hills store. Each time I walk by him he greets me with a sincere ‘Have a nice day’. He doesn’t offer this warm greeting to everyone who walks by. He seem to save it for regulars and early on he decided that I was a regular.

“Have a nice day” is a difficult phrase to pull off. It can sound cliche, insincere and hackneyed. However each time this redwood  tree of a security guard says it to me I believe him to mean it. He really wants me to have a nice day. And it never feels like “Have a nice day” is an entree to ” can I have your phone number?” Each Thursday I thank him for his well wish and wish the same for him.

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The Container

So you know how I often write detailed accounts of what I told Igor and what he told me in my sessions with him? Well, there is a school of thought that would say that by my doing that I am damaging the work and even impinging my growth. I have kept this idea in the back of my mind as long as I have been writing about my own personal therapy here on the blog and chose to keep it there, that is until now. Cheryl Fuller, on her brilliant blog Jung at Heart, wrote a post about the importance of container for transformation to occur in psychotherapy and it got me thinking and I felt like I needed to think about/write about this issue as a means of coming to understand exactly how I feel about this and to see if perhaps my writing about my own therapy is helping or hurting my work with Igor.

In case you don’t know about the idea of the “the container in therapy” here’s the theory: In Depth psychotherapy the relationship and the room that the work is done is understood as an alchemical vessel, a sealed vessel and as a container. According to this theory the change occurs because, in part, due to the container remaining sealed. The heat, tension and energy that happens within the therapy needs to remain in the container for change to occur.  There are many ways that the therapist works to keep the container sealed: a safe room that has a sealed door and doesn’t allow for others to hear what’s going on. The therapist doesn’t take calls during session. And the therapist’s use of confidentiality is another way the container  is kept sealed and safe and a place where change can occur.
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Three Types of Men: Foreign lover/Abusive father/Good father

Remember the post, the one from a few days ago, the one I was whinging about not having any dreams. In terms of daytime dreams I am still without one. Writing a book, having a baby, or moving to Chicago have not been replaced with the desire to open a tea shop or take up Bikram yoga. However in terms of night time dreams I have had two.

Dream number one was a bit on the X-rated side. I won’t go into lurid detail. I will just tell you that Javier Bardem and I were doing things that birds and bees and educated fleas do. What felt important in this dream was the level of connection Javier and I had. And Javier’s instructions to me felt VERY important. Javier was very keen on me “opening up to him”. It seemed that he was trying to open me up so he could fill me up(metaphorically). Please, stay with the metaphor—this isn’t about sex, it’s about metaphor—really. In the dream it felt like Javier and I were very connected and I trusted him and I did open up to him. I told Igor all of these associations.
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I’m something at Igor

I don’t know what I am at him. I want to say angry but that doesn’t feel right.

Here is what I know. When I started seeing Igor I wanted to go home. Back then I knew where home was. I hated where I was. I still wanted a baby even though I knew I would never have one. And I knew I wanted to write and publish a book. Back then there were things that I knew that I wanted.

Now, two and a half years later, I don’t want to move back to Chicago. Now I am okay with being where I am. That may sound like progress to you but to me, as of last week, I started to wonder if it was apathy, surrender, and a general loss of hope. I have no desire to have a child, I am too old and that ship has sailed. And I have absolutely no desire to publish a book. None. And I would like to blame that last one on Igor only all the credit for that lost dream goes to iPad. As soon as I started to read books on iPad I no longer had any desire to publish a book. To want to publish a book in today’s publishing world is like wanting to break into silent film just as the talkies came out. Books, I am afraid, are a dinosaur that is moving into hospice care ( Borders is shutting down stores and when you go into Barnes and Noble and they are selling a device that will soon make their store unnecessary, and Amazon is now selling more electronic books than actual books). As soon as I read my first book on an iPad I just didn’t care about publishing anymore, video had killed the radio star. I am already working in the realm of digital media. I have two blogs and a web page. That is much online presence as I want.  I don’t want to publish “books” for Kindle. Does that mean I am old and outdated? Or does it just mean I know what I don’t want?
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Oui Wednesday

1.  Dorothea was 100% right on. I took her dream interpretation with me to Igor’s as I knew she was right. He isn’t usually interested what any of my friends think about my dreams but when he heard Dorothea had made an interpretation he clamored to hear it. The truth is that I think Igor is a bit smitten with Dorothea(ever since he heard her first dream interpretation he has had a bit of a soft spot for her).

This is what  genius Dorothea said about the dream I wrote about on Monday:

This may be my own tunnel vision here, but I think this is related to the feelings you’ve expressed in the previous posts. To pull in another character from Greek mythology, perhaps you are feeling like Icarus — you are scared that you are flying too close to the sun. You’ve exposed your true (and lovely!) face by giving up your anonymity. You’re feeling good about living in (sunny) Pasadena. You can read these as assertions of your ego: “Hey, look at me, I’m writing this cool stuff that I want the world to see!” (for which the world is better off)! “And I’m going to claim Pasadena as mine, too!” And this makes you vulnerable.

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At least I dreamt that I was. In the dream I had been out in the sun and I didn’t have sunblock on. I had remembered that I had been using skincare products that made me especially susceptible to the sun’s harmful rays. In the dream I panicked. “My face”. I somehow saw my face( in a mirror?) and it wasn’t just red it was a purplish burnt looking red. It felt permanent and that I would be damaged by this exposure. That was it, that was the entire dream. When I woke up it had felt like a nightmare. So what does this little dream mean?

Let’s start with where the dream begins: I was out in the sun. What does it mean to be out in the sun? For me, as an introvert with Irish skin, it means that I am in two places that feel a little uncomfortable in( out and in the sun) and in a place that I need to be protected from—I am vulnerable when I am out in the sun. The sun is out in the day time, when all the action happens.  Hence the sun is more of an ego state( masculine) while the moon is symbolic of the unconscious( or the feminine. or the receptive). To get too much sun is to have too much ego state. Sun is light, warmth, and generative but it can also be burning, destructive and killing. The sun is the centre of our solar system. It is symbolic of enlightenment. Carl Jung theorized that the sun was an archetype of the human concept of the Self.

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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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