Paul, a songwriter from Brighton, went to see a psychoanalyst when his then-girlfriend got pregnant
Length of therapeutic relationship: two and a half years
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My girlfriend fell pregnant and I reacted in a 'typically male' way, wanting to run. I realised there must be something going on, so I found myself an analyst. A really old-fashioned, bearded, Jewish analyst in Hampstead and I did that for five days a week.
I was already open to the concept — I had done family therapy as a teenager, so I wasn’t a therapy virgin. There had been issues between mum and dad, involving an addiction, so I ended up in the priory in a family group and I loved it. It wasn’t to me such a big thing.
I’m not sure how I ended up with a Jungian analyst but it was a marvellous thing. I did five days for about four months, then twice week, then weekly. I phoned my therapist before my parents when my first child was born. I told him what a great day it was - and I said thank you for helping me to be here today. He really helped put in place many things in my life that are still with me.
To me seeing a therapist is up there with the doctor and dentist — it’s necessary maintenance. The process of pouring over your feelings is good and useful. They tend to get buried, but therapy gets you in touch with who you are and what you do. I was an intellectual bore for a while about the theory behind it - Jungian archetypes. I’ve been laughed at a lot because of it - but I know how valuable it was to me.
It is expensive, yes, but I thought of it as an investment in myself. Some people I knew were sceptical, but I think they’re making excuses. Everyone could benefit from some psychotherapy.