How therapy is a like a comic journey
And the pleasure of an Egyptian river
As part of my research for the book, I’ve been watching Steve Kaplan’s video about the comic hero’s journey. This video here:
In it, he describes how a comic hero has turned themselves into a pretzel to convince themselves they are having a happy life and that thing are ok. Most of the work that I do as a therapist involves untying that pretzel of belief.
In the comic hero’s journey, the comic premise removes all of these delusions and structures. A lot of people come and seek help only once everything in their life is on the verge of falling apart.
The next act Kaplan calls ‘the reaction’. The comic hero’s ‘reaction’ to loss is typically not met well.
When facing a life changing situation, most characters desperately try to claw back to the normal world.
The same can be said for most new therapy clients. People generally don’t want to change. It’s frequently a scary process for many. We’ve been taught to tie our behaviours, beliefs and personalities into pretzels. Unwinding the knots of our internalized rules and terrible stories can feel distressingly unfamiliar.
The grief of change almost always begins with denial. Not that grief has a natural progression. Denial pops up a lot in the process of grief.
And denial while painful to experience or witness can be incredibly funny.
Of course. Comedy is almost always painful.
And funny at the same time.