Couch Fiction: A Graphic Novel Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

The knowledge that if he were caught would 'release' him from the prison of middle-class respectability he inhabits is not just a Freudian notion but also symptomatic of an existential longing for meaning.

What signs of empathy did you see? Give at least 5 explicit examples.

Pat is a professional, trained therapist and part of her training includes the ability to show empathy or understanding of James' perspective. When James announces he is a thief she is not shocked: rather, she allows James to elaborate upon what he means. Pat is also tolerant rather than horrified by James' sexual fantasizing, given that she knows that transference and counter-transference is part of the therapeutic process. She also admits that she finds James attractive to herself.

Pat understands James' need to be trusted and the fact that he sometimes 'tests' her, such as when he does not have the money to pay for his first session and she tells him to pay her the following week: this surprises James given that he subconsciously does not want to be trusted and to keep people at arm's length. Pat expresses sympathy when James tells her about his family and this enables her to stay with the therapeutic process and continue to allow him to be her client even when he frustrates and enrages her.

Pat also knows when to 'pull back' when she has pushed her own agenda onto James too much and given him excessive 'homework' to do. She understands when he is overwhelmed and although she keeps the therapy on course, she does not adhere to a strict schedule in terms of the progress that must be made.

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