The "Journey" Session Log

Session #2: Patient [XXXXXXXX XXXXX] 

[XXXXXXXX]

I don't really know what to say today. Just wanted to tell you up

front. 

Psychologist

That's okay, you don't need to prepare anything. Actually there is something I wanted to talk to you about.

[XXXXXXXX]

Sure.

Psychologist

Your father told me you love stories. Why don't we talk about that?

[XXXXXXXX]

Oh, alright. My dad would read to me when I was little. Big books, small books, it didn't matter. He liked reading himself, and had a decent collection at the house. I didn't always understand everything in the books, but I did my best to pay attention.

Psychologist

Any particular memories come to mind?

[XXXXXXXX]

Well, there was one that makes me smile. It's one of my earliest memories actually. I was maybe five years old. I remember Dad was reading to me on the couch, and he had passed out. He didn't finish the story though, so I picked up the book and just started reading where he had left off, all on my own. Eventually he woke up, and looked over at me. First a little confused if I remember correctly, but he smiled when he realized I'd been reading without him. That's where it really took off I think.

Psychologist

That's sweet. It's good to have these cornerstone positive memories to come back to. Keep that one close.

[XXXXXXXX]

I agree.

[Psychologist

What about stories did you really like?

[XXXXXXXX]

Oh, um, I loved the escapism of it all. Different places and people, it was all exciting. I loved going on a journey with these characters and being immersed with them. The heroes of my stories meant a lot to me. I felt like I could relate to them.

Psychologist

Relate how?

[XXXXXXXX]

I don't know, I just connected with them. In ways I couldn't really connect with the real world.

Psychologist

Okay. 

Do you know about the Hero's Journey?

[XXXXXXXX]

A little, yes. But I don't remember all the parts of it.

Psychologist

Well, the Hero's Journey is a type of story. It's supposed to be one of the most common story types in all of history. In 1949, Joseph Campbell published a book called The Man With a Thousand Faces, where he describes this story type. In all of these stories, they center around a hero character, who is pushed out of their natural world to a special one, one of danger and obstacles, where they eventually have to overcome the trails of this special world and return to their natural one, having changed in the process.

[XXXXXXXX]

Okay, so how does this relate to me.

Psychologist

This dream you've described, sounds a lot like one of these stories. What do you think about that?

[XXXXXXXX]

I mean, I don't disagree. But like I said last time, it wasn't just a dream. I know it wasn't. 

Psychologist

And how are you so sure?

[XXXXXXXX]

You really wouldn't believe me if I told you.

Psychologist

I guess we'll have to see next time. Time's up for today.

One more thing though. To Joseph Campbell, the Hero's Journey wasn't just a story. It was a way to describe life itself. Whether what you experienced was real or not may not even matter, but what does is that you came out the other side. Better too. 

 

Maybe think about that for next time.

[XXXXXXXX]

Okay.

Psychologist

I've thought of something else too. Would you mind keeping a journal? Discussing the Dream, and your feelings about it? It will help greatly for you to work through this on your own, and also for you to keep the details fresh in your mind.

[XXXXXXXX]

I actually already have one. I use it to focus. I can write more about the Dream though.

Psychologist

That's really good. I think it would be good of you to do that.

[XXXXXXXX]

Okay.

Back to the Story

Next Session

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