Jane Haynes’ new book If I Chance To Talk a Little Wild, just published by Quartet, is receiving a great deal of attention, and deservedly so. In a review in last week’s Times Literary Supplement, the reviewer sheds light on the relationship between patient and therapist as practiced by the author:
‘Haynes explains that, having moved away from traditional Jungian psychoanalysis to become a “relational psychotherapist”, she “prefers to have a conversation with [her] patients rather than … professing to have spurious access to their unconscious”. In this light she presents herself less as a blank canvas for her patients’ projections than as an “other” being who has the “privilege” of joining her patients in psychotherapy and guiding them through it.
‘ … She tells us, for instance, that “there are some occasions when it is helpful for patient and therapist to become mutual confidents and for the therapist to make relevant self- disclosures”, and gives an example: when one patient described her difficulties surrounding “maternal love”, Haynes tell her that they elucidate some of her own “maternal dilemmas”. “I hope I am helping you as much as you are helping me”, the patient replies. “She is”, Haynes writes.
‘In spite – or perhaps because – of such disclosures, If I Chance To Talk a Little While is a moving and accessible account. In a field that can often be daunting to consider, let alone enter into, Haynes’s memoir provides refreshing and interesting perspectives on the theories of transference, as well as the importance of the psychoanalytic relationship for both patient and analyst. It also illuminates the paradox of learning to “let go” in psychotherapy: what is let go of is not lost; it is, rather, replaced by a shared experience of self and other.’
As her publisher, I believe this book is destined to become a must for those readers who think, as Jane does, that the relationship between patient and therapist should be one of reciprocity. Buy the book and find out for yourself.
You will be amazed. The courage to speak her mind is certainly tantamount to a current of fresh air. In the circumstances, applauding is the least one can do.