Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Archive for March 16th, 2012

Psychological Skeleton

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on March 16, 2012

Marty, forty-five, does not know which way to turn. He feels “henpecked” by his wife, doing everything she asks him to do. He feels like an inadequate father since he does not feel comfortable in the authoritarian role. He is unemployed, not sure how he wants to make his living. In essence, the major domains in his life feel scary and uncomfortable. “Maybe you are looking for a psychological skeleton,” I say, coining the phrase to imply a solid core from which decisions flow. “I don’t know what you mean,” Marty says with anger and sadness in his voice. “I mean that it feels to me that you are searching for meaning in your life, but you are not sure what is really important to you, so you live in a state of confusion and helplessness.” I say, trying to gently point out that the issues run deeply for Marty and that we have to start on a fundamental level of finding out how he can be true to himself. He understands this, but he feels angry that such an essential component of a personality seems to be lacking. Like an oncologist, sometimes I feel like I have to give people bad news, and then work with them to rebuild. It is a journey, often a long and tortuous one. Yet, when the skeleton forms, the bones can work well, and a foundation is set.

Posted in Psychoanalysis, Psychotherapy | 6 Comments »

 
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