The Fairy Godfathers
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Patients cast their therapists into diverse and contradictory roles—parent, guide, mediator, healer, friend, confessor, provocateur, spy, voyeur, teacher, guru, advocate, conscience, moralist. Whatever role psychotherapists are assigned, or assume for themselves, their influence is felt between sessions and long after termination, patients create and hang on to multipurpose images of the therapeutic relationship. Sometimes seen as approving, sometimes seen as forbidding, the felt presence of the therapist, in reality and fantasy, shapes patients’ perceptions and may give them a tool to use in their relations with others. “The Fairy Godfathers” portrays just how pervasive therapists’ influence can become. (15 pp.)