I wanted to respond to Ginger Schenck's questions about the unresolved grief that affected Kathy and her entire family after her brother's death. You will see the creative way that Kathy worked through much of her grief in the last section of the presentation. But before Kathy could begin to touch those painful feelings (I say this in retrospect after studying the case. I did not know this until I learned it from Kathy's behavior.), she had to enact in the treatment a carbon copy of her family's (really her mother's) depression. In the next section of the presentation, you will see how Kathy did to me, what her mother did to her years earlier after her brother died. Kathy needed to enact this with me in order to learn deeply that she did not cause her mother's depression, nor was she responsible for it.
You will see in this next section the hardest part of this treatment. I made much use of clinical supervision with Dr. Hal Sampson to help me both withstand and understand this very difficult work. Kathy worried me, frustrated me, made me feel utterly helpless and hopeless in the face of her depression. Clinical supervision helped me get the wider view of what Kathy needed to learn in this enactment. Kathy needed to see me care about her as she had cared about her mother; but she also needed me to NOT believe her depression was MY FAULT and MY RESPONSIBILITY. Kathy suffered from deep unconscious feelings of guilt, shame and responsibility for her brother's death and for her family's and mother's unresolved grief that basically ruined everyone's lives. During this LONG 6-month segment of treatment, Kathy learned that she was not to blame as she had originally believed deeply. Freedom from this potent guilt and shame enabled Kathy to use her creativity to begin to process her own unresolved grief. She could not face those feelings while she believed herself to be so bad and so harmful to others.
So, please stay with us. There will be the one difficult section next. Immediately following that section, you will see an example of how uniquely patients can work through deep pain and conflict.