We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. -- T. S. Eliot
Two recent additions to my blogroll, psychiatrist Ars Psychiatrica and Jungian analyst Jung at Heart offer up posts that include some interesting thoughts on first sessions. The differences between the two arise, in part, from the different purposes of a psychiatric consultation and an initial analytic consultation.
Reading about first sessions reminded me of Thomas Ogden's superb chapter on the initial analytic meeting in The Primitive Edge of Experience.
Ogden conceptualizes the first session as an invitation to the patient to reconsider everything knows:
All that has been obvious to the patient will no longer be treated as self-evident; rather, the familiar is to be wondered about, to be puzzled over, to be newly created in the analytic setting. The patient's thoughts and feelings, his past and present, have new significance, and therefore the patient himself takes on new significance that he has never held before. (p.170)
Stay tuned for Part 2.