7. Private School Sam

A beginning …..
Sam a private school man presenting with his girlfriend threatening to end their 2 year relationship if he doesn’t speak to someone. He works in the City, and is a Sports Club captain leading a competitve team in a private school sport. He has a full timetable where being productive is essential.

Sam is a charming handsome man with an easy attitude to life: as though nothing bothers him. He is respectful and polite with the smooth presentation. His persona feels like a steel egg. Nothing will touch or reach him. His attendance is poor: he gives notice at the last minute, or DNA. But he still comes with a vague attachment to the therapy. He assumes that I am going to break into the steel egg with heavy gear. He went to private boarding school aged 7 years old all the way through to 18 years old. Then onto a top University where he studied sciences. He recalls his childhood and school experience as good: he can’t complain.

Conversations with Sam are to convince me that his template of control, self discipline, and using himself as a tool of production is the way to go. I agree with him. Not out of technique but authentically agree that these traits have made him successful. These traits are good to have. He is a leader: he dominates and controls. His template is efficient, effective and winning. I have learnt that reassurance of the steel egg is crucial. Any attempt to break in is seen as an attack & defended.

In the room he invites/provokes me into conversations with stories and situations where control, & discipline win the day. I listen: being present and supporting his template. To start we both ignore the elephant in the room – the reason he is coming – his relationship with his girlfriend. The transference is to play me into thinking that all is well, he has no feelings about anything, so we can end. My counter transference is to want to end with him, while feeling seduced, irritated, bored, but in pain. One of my tasks is to hold Sam’s painful feelings he cannot bear. In doing this I show that his feelings are bearable, and that someday he might risk taking them back.

To prevent the taking back Sam controls the session by filling it with stories of the template success sometimes angrily, petulantly, sadly, reluctantly. He wonders what he is doing coming here. Is it productive. At times I feel his fondness for me: that there might be something familiar between us which is both inticing, and revolting.
But he and I still hang on …..

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