Self Made Man
The magnificent works of art on this page by American sculptor Bobbi Carlyle express the spirit behind my approach to therapy better than any thousand words could. “Self-Made Man” and “Self-
Made Woman” show the heroic efforts of each to fashion themselves out the marble and clay. They epitomize the virtues we struggle toward — realizing that we can only struggle towards them, never ceasing in that struggle.
“Self-Made Man” is carving himself out of the stone and “Self-Made Woman” is carving herself out of clay. They cannot choose the medium. They do not work off of the plans or models of others. What they achieve in their heroic efforts gives them a quiet and profound joy that is theirs alone and cannot be taken from them. And so it is with each of us. Although we can change neither our biology nor our history, we can fashion what we have been given into something beautiful and powerful and new.
Self Made Woman
As Hanna Segal said, “The human mind is an achievement, not an endowment.” When you want to go beyond feeling helpless and achieve the power necessary to create yourself, to make your life its own aesthetic event, it can be done. It is not an easy or a fast process. Small steps and little victories are the core of the work.
Because it is based on accessing the deepest levels of your being, this work requires a level of honesty and courage you may find daunting. We all suffer from pain and the repetition of old ways that sim
ply don’t work anymore. We often find ourselves at a crossroads — accept the way things are because we are afraid of change, or face the difficulty and fear inherent in change. Many therapies offer superficial tools or techniques to make things a little bit better, or a little easier. Such efforts do little more than manage the difficulties your life brings.
Psychoanalytic therapy offers the chance to rework the deepest inner structures of your self. It moves people not just toward change, but more specifically, to strength and power. It is simply not enough to change ways of thinking or behaving without addressing the deeper structures of self and personality. Beliefs and behavior are always derivatives of character structure. We must strive to overcome, to achieve a power in body, mind and spirit that lets us create and nurture the true and authentic self. From a place of power we can then enter relationships, physical and emotional intimacy, careers, physical endeavors, and even rest and relaxation in a way we have never before experienced.
Be inspired by these sculptures to become your own work of art, your own aesthetic event. Become who you are. Will your own becoming.