The Therapist – Flash Fiction


 I try to avoid telling people what I do for a living. I generally get one of two reactions: either the person in question edges away nervously, presumably terrified I’m going to force them down onto a couch and demand they reveal their innermost fantasies, or they’re all over me like a rash. If it’s the latter and the person in question is an attractive woman I’m not complaining. Would any man?

‘What kind of therapy do you offer?’ they will ask.

‘The right kind!’ I say.

It’s the attraction of the medical, you see, but without any nasty or embarrassing procedures. You can charge a lot for an hour’s therapy. And I do, believe me! I wouldn’t say I was rich but I’m what you might call ‘comfortable’.

Most of them are serious headfucks so all I have to do is listen, make some observations and suggest further sessions. You just have to make it all about them.

I’m aware you might be thinking that I’m a charlatan. Far from it. I’m fully qualified, accredited and registered and several articles published in professional journals bear my name.

Of course very occasionally there’s one who tries it on but it’s usually fairly easy to hush up, given what I’ve been told. Anyway, it’s not as though I make a habit of it.

When I’ve got a few minutes between appointments I must admit I do occasionally amuse myself by writing ‘THERAPIST’ on my notepad, leaving a gap between the E and the R.