Talking therapies assume that being able to talk about how one is feeling is therapeutic.
Its an assumption worth talking about.
What are the necessary or sufficient conditions for this to be beneficial?
If I text, is this enough?
Is text a bandaid?
Deep wounds get infected and the bandaid is a superficial fix on something that needed a whole lot more...
Or is the text more like a lance? A way in- and out preventing a worsening of the condition...
The following txt message suggests its a way to contain what's going on.
talkn out loud makes it real, i dnt wnt it 2 b real
Suggesting: I dont want to hurt
I dont want to fall apart
I dont want to acknowledge whats going on for me
I want it to go away...and i also know its (t)here.
Texting, in this instance, allows for control over how much reality gets experienced. What could be overwhelming is contained.
In this instance, the scenario involved the death of someone very close to the person texting in. and seemed to provide a way of containing and of letting go.
I am reminded of being 8 and finding my sister who had died.
As children we worked out that we would make it easier on the grownups letting them know we knew what was going on, so they would not have to talk to us.
Talking about it with Mum or Dad would have made them cry and that would have been even more overwhelming.
I wish a youth telephone counselling agency had been around then, and I wish texting had been available.
The medium of texting provides a contained/constrained/constructed practical way of relating:
Contains in terms of being held gently.
Constrained in the sense that control is emphasised; that its not overwhelming.
And constructed, carefully, at my own pace, in the medium of my choosing.
Some wisdom from Australian cartoonist, Leunig, on holding on and letting go:
Holding on and letting go seems a recurring theme at the moment; i am rewriting, reediting, and not letting go of, a conference paper I need to complete by 5.00 today...
My supervisor has an inkling I will be like this when the thesis is being handed in also :)