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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

an interpretive query


As my workday came to a close, I was doing the usual bookkeeping with collected fees and copays . I came across a check that gave me pause. It was written by a longtime client.

It was written out to, "Burger King."

And I have to say, I was stumped.

Was this an example of transference? What might this client have been projecting onto me, exactly?


And what is the appropriate therapist response? The fact that I, upon reading it, immediately felt a craving for a charbroiled hamburger, could smell it even, says what about the therapeutic alliance, exactly? What counter transference issue was at play?

Interpret amongst yerselves.

35 comments:

Magpie said...

Maybe your client was hungry and thinking where to go for dinner...

phd in yogurtry said...

magpie -- no, no. something deeper!

blognut said...

Maybe your client knew you had a taste for Burger King and just wanted to make the check payable to them so you could carry it right over there and pick up your dinner???

phd in yogurtry said...

blognut -- and the thought occurred to me to do just that.

Talon said...

Since when did fast food places take personal cheques? lol!

phd in yogurtry said...

talon -- ah, they don't? so now we must factor this new piece of information into the interpretive equation. was this an intentional set up? hmmmm?

stephanie (bad mom) said...

I'm thinking this person is watching your every move and wants to see how long it takes you to ask about it. Or go crazy.

(I watch a lot of movies)

Good luck :D

Margo said...

maybe she sees herself as the Dairy Queen.

Madge said...

maybe your client was thinking of that picture you posted and your client, like me, is disturbed by those commercials and wants to talk to you about them, but just can't quite figure out how to bring it up....

Mary Alice said...

Maybe your client thinks you have masculine tendencies. Why King? Why burgers? Seriously, I know Kings are male...and I think if you established a gender for foods..burgers would be male. What were you wearing?

Donna said...

Perhaps it is a clue for you to explor on your next visit with your patient.

I know the BK certainly disturbs me!

That's so strange though... who writes a check to Burger King? :)

Or, maybe it was just a way to delay payment? Ooooh, that would be bad.

Mental P Mama said...

Transference taken to a higher level. You are royal. ?

Talon said...

lol @ Margo's comment. She might be on to something there.

There is something utterly creepy about the Burger King character. Total plastic strangeness. And if he ever approached me on a beach? I can't go there...eewwww!

Becca said...

my question is, was it for less than $5 or the usual fee you charge? and if it was for your fee, exactly how many whoppers did this person plan to eat to drown their sorrows in food?

Becca said...

And Mary Alice, according to Dooce, burgers are female, hotdogs are male

imom said...

The comments are just cracking me up! I think she was having a craving for a burger and was thinking ahead while writing the check!

The BK is one of the creepiest mascots ever!

phd in yogurtry said...

margo -- ding, ding, ding! Good answer!

mary -- I was wearing a dress. Maybe I oughtn't?

mpm -- I definately feel royal.

becca -- it was the amount of the usual copay. way more than the price of a burger, or two, or three.

imom -- I tend to agree with you. Especially since, one little piece I haven't mentioned, there's a BK a block from my office.

flutter said...

clearly he is having an affair

bernthis said...

okay, I'm stumped.

Vodka Mom said...

i just laughed out loud.



and now I'm hungry.

g said...

That photo is freaking me out!

And I could use a BK Big Fish. - can you pick me up one when you go? With fries.

Jocelyn said...

I refuse to interpret anything but, instead, am tapping into my immediate, clear gut reaction: I YUV you.

This kind of thing cracks me up, as does that photo, as does--especially--the fact that you immediately wanted a burger.

Now I want a burger, too.

Your client is very powerful. Next session, tell your client that strangers find him/her very powerful. That would be a good opener.

Maggie May said...

That picture is FRIGHTENING

phd in yogurtry said...

jocelyn -- maybe I'll phrase it as, "you sure bring on a powerful hunger in me"

maggie -- I aim to frighten.

Anna Lefler said...

Okay, I can't get past the photo.

How big IS that king, anyway?

Or is that just a really stacked second grader lying on the beach?

Hmmm...

~ A.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

The Burger King slogan is "Have it Your Way" . . .

That's the first thought that popped into my head as a place to start the interpretation.

I really want to know what you come up with. Intriguing.

Also? I, too, would like a Whopper. With Cheese. Hold the pickle and onion. I love that I can have it my way.

JCK said...

I hate those BK ads. Creepy.

The check is to BK because the client was suffering from those commercials and now is so much healthier coming to you that he paid BK so they can continue to run the ad campaign and the client can continue to need you.

We showed one of those commercials during the symposium I was a panelist on. Quite the comment flurry. Perhaps your client was there?

apathy lounge said...

I don't know, but that photograph left me more confused than ever.

Fantastic Forrest said...

The check didn't really say Burger King.

You just imagined it, because you were so disturbed by the recent ads featuring the King and square butts - at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nopKDuydRo for those of you who haven't seen them - that you are now reading "Burger King" everywhere.

Or maybe it really does say that, and the client wrote the check while the TV was on and that disturbing commercial was playing.

phd in yogurtry said...

FF -- King of Burgers, Sponge Bob, Square pants? What is the connection? I don't get it. All of this confusion and fright might just be the ticket behind the miswritten check.

Fantastic Forrest said...

I think those commercials are going to make many children need extensive therapy over the next decade or two.

Seriously messed up.

Pete said...

Hopefully that's the weirdest moment you've had with a client. Unless client (I'm guessing a she?) is messing with you, the best I can do right now is burger = food; food = love; she loves coming for therapy; therapy is something she consumes like burgers (do you do a therapy drive-through?); the king is part of her idealisation of you. Put them altogether and you get the rather bizarre BK.

Andrea Frazer - Pass the Zoloft said...

I think he likes your buns.

Dr Zibbs said...

I love that picture!

phd in yogurtry said...

Zibbs -- Why am I not surprised?