I don’t get the chance to go to a lot of cocktail parties. When people in other professions are beginning to gather for wine and hors d’oeuvres, my workday is just gearing up. As a psychoanalyst in private practice, I have to be available to work when other people aren’t working. That means solidly from 5 to 9, rather than 9 to 5, as well as during normal people’s lunch hours, and the other times my patients can snatch from their famously busy New York City schedules.
When I do manage to make it to a soirée, I’m sunk. I’ve been a psychotherapist for 20 years, and a psychoanalyst – more specifically – for the past five. Telling others what I do for a living means being confronted, almost always, with disgust or distrust – embodied in sceptical questions about my work which I wish I were then given time to answer fully.