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Monday, October 12, 2015

Would I Accept My Patient’s Gift?

By Judith Warren
The New York Times - Opinionator
Originally published September 29, 2015

Here is an excerpt:

Delighting in the sweets, I thought of Tim’s gift as revealing both a yearning for connection and an ability to create and give something of himself. He was turning his trauma into a kind of art. I also realized that my eating his candy was an act of faith that Tim did not want to destroy our work together, even though we had struggled with many hard moments in which it seemed as if he did.

I’m embarrassed to say that I ate half the box and then fell peacefully asleep.

At his next session, I told Tim how much I enjoyed his candy. He smiled broadly, looked squarely in my eyes, and said, “So, you believed me.”

Eating Tim’s candy did not magically cure his distrust of me. But he remained in treatment for a long time. We later talked about the various meanings of this gift.

The entire article is here.

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