The unconscious is the ever present force in our daily actions. Unless we acknowledge this, our actions will not be framed by the present, but by the past – and we won’t know it. Psychotherapy aims to restore a good working relationship with our unconscious minds.
In this Q&A with the board of the British Journal of Psychotherapy (BJP), psychoanalyst Gillian Isaacs Russell, author of the 2015 book Screen Relations, discusses changes to the experience of psychotherapy brought about by the twin factors of the Covid-19 pandemic and the abrupt shift to “mediated communication” by phone or video conferencing (p. 1). Implicitly, the author writes from the standpoint that, beyond providing for continuity of care, there are no therapeutic opportunities inherent to technologically mediated treatment for either patient or therapist, and expresses the hope that “the value of co-present relating has been rediscovered and reasserted” (p. 10). This short review hopes to provide some element for patients and practitioners who wish to put this in perspective with their own experience.
Couples who are encountering difficulties can benefit from a space, where each can understand the dynamics of their relationship, and how to effect change. This can be achieved individually, as is often the case, or as a consulting couple.
The initial consultation is more structured than the “typical” session of therapy, which tends to meander as it follows the course of the unconscious. Despite being more “protocol-heavy”, it is still unique to each individual, both in what it contains and in the way it unfolds.