Many years ago I saw a therapist for a time, as an experiment. I didn’t think she was any good. One time she pointed out that I refer to both of my sisters as “my sister,” that I don’t say their names. She said, “It’s as though you can only have one sister at a time.” When she said this, I wondered what it meant to have only one sister at a time, before finally concluding that it meant absolutely nothing.
Another time I was talking with her about a friend who had the same name as her, and she stopped me to point this out, then added, “I wonder if you’re really talking about me.” Again, this sounded interesting at first, as though she were saying something insightful, but the truth was, I wasn’t talking about her, and rarely ever even thought about her.
She was young, perhaps thirty, and I often suspected that she wasn’t yet accustomed to the role of therapist, and so she would say things which had the proper form for therapy but were completely meaningless.