Psychotherapy as a Kind of Art

by MB


I came, slowly, not merely to remember experiences and feelings, but to relive them. And this turned out to be not unlike what I did while writing fiction: I gave myself up to my own life and feelings in the same way that, when inventing characters, I gave myself up to what my characters felt and experienced. By imagining an experience back into existence I came closer not only to what had happened and what I’d felt, but to what I’d forgotten, or had not felt, or not seen, or might have felt. I became lost and frightened the way characters in my novels became lost and frightened, and I found ways of surviving in ways my characters did. Like my writing, psychotherapy enabled me to make sense of a world that often seemed senseless.

- Excerpted from the January 25 edition of The New York Times' Couch column