Shadow of the Therapist: Origins of ‘Kill the Buddha!’
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His shoulders cave forward, shaking, as he cries. The shooting, the bullied kids, the wife battling disease. The overtime. Unfair promotions. He is, at last, broken. The therapist’s job is to, first and foremost, to hear him. Make that feeling resonant connection. Therein lies the healing. Or her— the one with the rambling alcoholic husband. And the others…
They ask— doesn’t it get to you?
Want do you do to help yourself?
Which self? I don’t reply. That other self, I whisper to myself.
Carl Jung, the great dream psychologist, theorized that the negative aspects of the self that are denied by the usual community standards are plunged into the unconscious.
There they reside, safe from the community and self’s disapproval. But they are also, without one’s awareness, prone to creating physical disturbances, anxiety, and most disturbing of all, projection. With the latter, all that internal garbage gets projected onto a mate, community, a race. The homicide of genocide is also an economic and psychological suicide.
This therapist who listens and feels and, at times cries, in a session, subsumes his crazy self, rage, self destruction and the rest in stories. The helplessness of psychotherapy into a trickster priest. The need for calmness and healing into shoot ‘em up Westerns. And now, the seeing daily the tragedy of violence, has become the tale of a serial killer. But, in an unconscious move, this serial killer has a heart. He is complicated.
As are we all.