ABSTRACT

Like many counsellors and psychotherapists in the UK, I trained on a part-time basis in the middle of an apparently quite unrelated career. In my case, I was an academic based in human geography, interested in feminist debates about gender, knowledge, and everyday life. When I began my training, I was familiar with a variety of feminist engagements with psychoanalytic ideas. However, my knowledge was largely theoretical and I looked forward to understanding what psychoanalytic ideas might mean in practice. I did, indeed, learn about that, but much else in my training surprised me. It had not occurred to me, for example, that I would find the language of counselling and psychotherapy to be so resonantly spatial in its talk of such themes as “boundaries”, “interior worlds”, and the configuration of consulting rooms. The distance between my original discipline of human geography and the new field I was entering did not seem as great as I had anticipated, and the area of overlap held out great promise.