The Sleeping Analyst

Stephen Metcalf explores an emerging pattern in his life:

I have consulted four therapists in my life, and all four have fallen asleep on me. The ritualforms, waiting rooms, Kleenexstarts up again, only each time with my own special twist: I pay someone to explore my unconscious mind and instead they sink into theirs. So consistently did I lose wakeful contact with my shrinks that I began to suspecthonest to Godthat feigning sleep was a technique for provoking patients to confront their fears of abandonment. “Once in a 40-year career,” said a friend’s shrink, an ancient and cheerful Jungian, when I asked him if he’d ever drifted off while on the clockmaking me, I suppose, the Ted Williams of narcissistic monotony.