Therapy in a prison? With murderers and gangsters? Upwards of 80 men all in one room getting in touch with how they really feel?
Sounds like a recipe for disaster.
This was the subject of a recent BBC documentary ‘Storyville: The Work’. Prisoners- all with extremely violent histories that had landed them in prison- mixing with men from the outside come to discover themselves in a very different therapeutic environment.
This is, in a very small way, what I’ve just had to do over the last few months. Tinnitus, headaches on one side of the head and other unexplained symptoms had caused me to be referred for an MRI scan which found…. something.
As I started to get to grips with the possible implications it felt as if everything was falling apart.
Another more detailed MRI scan and a CT scan was ordered. Then there was the waiting. This was made all the worse because the referral letter from the first scan was mislaid so when I eventually received the appointment for the second scan it was now urgent.
You get up to do a presentation and you dry up. The words just aren’t there. Somehow you finish and sit down and spend the rest of the day beating yourself up for not having performed better.
You sit down to dinner and your partner says or does ‘that thing’. You can’t stand it anymore and can’t stop yourself from reacting. The atmosphere is ruined and you end the evening going to sleep with your backs to each other.
You go to a dance class (this happened to me last night), get invited to dance and then pull off the clumsiest dorkiest move ever. The other person decides (in their wisdom of self-preservation) to move off and I, spend the next 10 minutes feeling like a fool and unable to get back into the groove.