The native language

The native language
Monday August 21, 2006

Hi Alice,
I’ve heard of your works by a friend, then stumbled upon one of your books, “The Drama of being a child” at my local library. It’s an old edition I read (1990). I have to say this reading has given me new insights on understanding myself,
my struggles. Very often I could recognize my symptoms in your descriptions: I am one of those people very successful professionally, but with an empty emotional life and an almost complete amnesia on the subject of my own childhood… And I am very familiar with those feelings of loneliness, uselessness, absence of purpose and what I do call “the void within;” although I always managed to cope.
I have been considering therapy ever since I read the works of Freud (*)(I was a student then), and your book has made it clear to me this is something I have to do. I want to understand why I am like I am. And if one day I have children (I am 24 right now), it would be better for them if I was free from the chains of my own past.
I was wondering about the following: I am a native French speaker, but I happen to be living and working in an English-speaking country (Ireland). Is it a good idea to start a psychoanalysis in English, in a language that is not mine (I consider myself very fluent)? Do you see any issues with that?
Thanks for your great work. I am looking forward to reading more of your books if I can find them.
All the best,, M.

AM: I no longer recommend psychoanalysis. To understand why, you would have to read the other books, especially The Body Never Lies, and the articles on this web site. The FAQ list can help you to find a therapist who can become your enlightened witness when you try to find the suffering of the small boy you once have been. I think that talking then to somebody who understands well your native language, French, would allow you to find easier your old memories and your repressed emotions. But if you have no choice you can try to do it in English.