Marla, http://shirahvollmermd.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/were-breaking-up was struggling with her relationship with Monte. On the one hand, she felt that Monte’s anger interfered with her ability to listen, and on the other hand, she felt that Monte was a valuable member of her committee and so she should work hard at keeping Monte engaged. With this struggle, Marla turned to her supervisor,http://shirahvollmermd.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/supervision/ http://shirahvollmermd.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/were-breaking-up/ Beatrice, whom she had seen for over twenty years. Beatrice, age eighty-six, is long retired from doing psychotherapy, but she supervises a number of her colleagues. She is smart, thoughtful and helpful to Marla. Over the years, Marla and Beatrice have become friends, although they do not socialize together.
Marla tells Beatrice a different story than Monte would have told her. http://shirahvollmermd.wordpress.com/2010/06/27/rewriting-history/. Marla explained that Monte came to Marla for help teaching her class at which time, Marla had some positive input for Monte. Monte would have added that there was no follow-up, and when Monte asked for follow-up, Marla did not respond. Leaving out that piece, Marla explained to Beatrice that Monte is angry with Marla; that she is not sure why. Since Monte has so much anger towards Marla, Marla tells Beatrice that she wants to avoid Monte.
Beatrice wants to help Marla; she is also Marla’s friend. Beatrice has one version of a story, which Beatrice understands, and yet that is the version she needs to work with. Beatrice says, “Marla you have really helped Monte over the years, and now he has really gotten to you. What is up with that?” Marla replies “well, his anger just makes me shut down. I cannot think.” Beatrice responds “maybe you should think.”
Marla, with deep guilt, begins to review her history with Monte. As stated previously,http://shirahvollmermd.wordpress.com/2010/06/27/rewriting-history/ , Marla then offers Monte a face to face meeting. Monte refuses. Marla remains hopeful that he can work things out with Monte. Beatrice has encouraged her to do so. Monte though, feels less optimistic. He feels that Marla has betrayed him such that he cannot forgive her. They are at a standoff. Monte does not know that Beatrice is part of their universe, yet he senses the change in Marla’s attitude and he wonders where that comes from. Supervision can be a powerful experience. Monte knows that. He speculates that supervision has changed Marla’s tune; for the good and bad of that.