The Practice

He came wearing a Gucci designer suit,
said, “I’ve achieved so much, earned status,
and still feel empty,” he wept, asked me
what he should do, and I wept with him,
comforted his frayed nerves, walked into
the all-encompassing dark,
holding him, whispering softly, while he shook,
now some of you may ask, “Why treat him
differently? Why slap the child, and take an
authoritarian stance with her, while you
arm wrestle with this man’s guilt?” and to
them, I say this: “There is a hierarchy—
whether you acknowledge it or not—
and drive and success
determine a man’s position,
which is something
a ten-year old cannot understand; approach
a worn yet successful face with a mask of empathy,
and a rosy-cheeked naïve one with a toothbrush
moustache and a red Hakenkreuz armband. It’s
really the only truth, the only path a true
psychologist should take.” Now, there was
this particular dilemma that made our team
wonder where we should place ourselves
in that spectrum of emotion. A French
millionaire who was in a relationship with
a widow started sexually molesting her twelve
year old son, few of you might burn with
indignation at the very thought of this,
but think deeper, the widow needed
financial support, so calling the police was
out of the question, which left us with two
ways of achieving a Pyrrhic victory: placing
the child in a remand home, or somehow
talking the man out of it. The practice is
complicated, but remove that one-dimensional,
fantastical, looking for a happy ending approach
and explore, analyze the variables, giving
each one its due consideration. Remember, there
is nothing distasteful here, it’s a business
and you get paid.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Protected by Copyscape

2 responses

  1. Always keeping in mind that everyone has a battle, no matter how nicely wrapped of a gift they seem from the outside. Falling apart is an internal struggle that we need to be mindful of, to really progress together as a people. Well done.

    • This is a satirical piece that is sadly inspired by a lecture a professor gave us, when I studied psychology. This, coupled with a few other sickening incidents made me quit the field. I believe in what you say. Sometimes in life we all go off the course, but come back if there’s something human in us. Some people sadly lose that aspect completely.

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