Jeffrey Von Glahn
I’ve been a psychotherapist for 45 years, and counting. That experience has been, and continues to be, more exciting and fulfilling than I had ever imagined. Whether it’s the first session with a new client or the hundredth one with the same client, this intimate way of engaging with another person continues to have the same mesmeric appeal it has always had for me. On occasion, I’ve been known to suddenly exclaim, "If I believed in reincarnation - which I don't - but if I did my fondest wish would be to come back as a therapist."
What has been especially rewarding for me is when I’ve been able to help someone reconnect with a "lost" part of their basic humanness. That's when I feel I’ve helped to give birth to a new human being. I don't mean that literally, of course, but there's no other way of explaining how I feel when I'm sitting face-to-face with someone and I see such a dramatic change.
And even after all these years, each client presents another opportunity for me to learn more about psychotherapy, and to learn more about how to help someone regain contact with a part of his or her basic humanness that fortuitous events had secreted away for safe-keeping. What makes it all an especially significant experience is that I get to use all of my intellectual skills and all of my basic caring instincts at the same time.
Jessica: The autobiography of an infant
biography, non-fiction, psychotherapy, mental health
Jessica had always been haunted by the fear that the unthinkable had happened when she had been “made up.” She had no sense of a Self. Just thinking of saying “I need” or “I want” left her feeling like an empty shell and that her mind was about to spin out of control. Terrified of who – or what – she was, she lived in constant dread over being found guilty of impersonating a human being.
Jeffrey Von Glahn, Ph.D., an experienced therapist with an unshakable belief in the intrinsic healing powers of the human psyche, and Jessica, his courageous client, blaze a trail into this into this unexplored territory. As if she has become an infant again, Jessica remembers in extraordinary detail events from the earliest days of her life – events that had threatened to twist her embryonic humanness from its natural course of development.
Her recollections as an adult are just like listening to an infant who could talk describe every psychologically dramatic moment of its life as it was happening. Jessica’s electrifying journey into her mystifying past brings her ever closer to a final confrontation with the fateful events that had threatened to strip her of her basic humanness.