Note: this is 100% fiction
I watched my client’s mouth contort. “Concentrate, Sally,” I encouraged, “concentrate on a specific event.”
Though I couldn’t see what she’s seeing in the VR (virtual-reality) goggles, I could tell she was overwhelmed. The VR goggle was the newest device added to my practice. It’s a device that was supposed to help my clients heal from their past traumas and overcome their mental obstacles to live a happy life.
“Can you tell me what you’re seeing, Sally?” I asked when I noticed Sally’s cheeks relax.
“It’s me,” Sally gasped, “It’s me and my parents. I remember this. We went on a picnic that day. Dad packed sandwiches, paintbrushes, a palette, and an easel while mom carried a blanket in her arms. ‘You want to paint with daddy?’ I remember dad asked.”
She chuckled. “‘Dada,’ I replied. I was almost three. I didn’t know many words and I certainly didn’t know how to paint. Dad mixed the colors and handed me the brush. Didn’t know any better, the moment he handed the paintbrush, I flicked it at myself. Paint flew everywhere and I didn’t stop there. I flicked the brush several times and before I knew, my once-white dress was now a mirage of dad’s color palette.”
As Sally told her story, I watched her face react while jotting some notes on my notepad. It was the first time she had mentioned her father. I wondered why she’s never mentioned her father. Is he no longer around? Is he the reason she’s seeking therapy?
“Sally,” I ventured, “how do you feel seeing this memory?”
For a long moment, there was nothing but agonizing silence until Sally answered, “It makes me feel sad as this was the last happy day I would ever feel.”