* * *
She’s a new client, and clearly involuntary. She doesn’t want to be here, and doesn’t trust me, and it’s making me nervous.
“So,” she says. “What’s your job? As a therapist, I mean.”
No one’s ever asked me this before.
I know this, I think.
But no answer comes.
I feel like an idiot.
Then into my mind pops an image: of all things, the David. (Thank you, unconscious.) And suddenly I have my answer.
“It’s something like how Michelangelo described his job,” I said. “He said the job of the sculptor was to free the statue from the stone. That’s kind of what therapists do. Try to scrape away everything that isn’t the real person — fears, and defenses, and the lies we’re all taught — so the real person can come out. Something like that.”