The individual mentioned in the following transcript has been a participant in a seven-week short-form therapy programme. All sessions in this programme have been recorded and transcribed with the participant’s prior consent, for educational purposes. The participant has given his permission to publish the transcripts on this website. All names have been changed and details that could reveal the identity of the participant have been redacted. Participants in this programme have applied through a mediator and have been informed about the programme’s plan and purpose. Sessions conducted via Cross Culture Therapy adhere to strict confidentiality rules and are not handled in this way.
Philip: Hi Samuel. Welcome to your last therapy session.
Samuel: Hi Phil. Thank you.
Philip: How have you been this past week?
Samuel: I’ve actually been doing fine… for once.
Philip: I am happy to hear that. Was there anything in particular?
Samuel: I got the job I applied for.
Philip: The one at the farm?
Samuel: Yeah. So… I’m starting next week Tuesday.
Philip: That’s great. What are your thoughts on your new job?
Samuel: It feels like a fresh start… finally (laughs).
Philip: What do you think will be the best thing about it?
Samuel: Getting out again. Coming away from this house, I guess.
Philip: Not the money?
Samuel: The money of course helps. I was getting really short on cash. But it’s not the worst of it by a long shot… I was getting quite bored with being stuck in this house all day.
Philip: What do you do when you are bored?
Samuel: I dunno. Watch TV, go outside with Rocket, eat… do nothing… sit around and think maybe… I dunno.
Philip: Is there anything in particular that you’ve been thinking about this week?
Samuel: Well I’ve been thinking about our last conversation quite a bit.
Philip: What part of it?
Samuel: Where we left off. (Laughs).
Philip: About the death of your father?
Philip: What specifically have you been thinking?
Samuel: That I miss him. That I hope he knew that I loved him… It’s been five years since he passed and still I think about him every time before I go to sleep.
Philip: That’s quite normal. Perfectly understandable.
Samuel: But I want it to stop. I want to move on. It hurts too much. I have to drown out my thoughts with the TV otherwise I can’t fall asleep.
Philip: You said that you hoped that your father knew that you loved him. Do you have any reason to doubt that this is the case?
Samuel: I guess I don’t think I was a good son.
Philip: In what way do you think you weren’t a good son?
Samuel: I felt like I was there at the wrong time.
Philip: Where at the wrong time?
Samuel: In his life. I felt like I was in the way.
Philip: What do you mean?
Samuel: I think he would have been better off without me that’s all. He wasn’t around that much. Sometimes I think, maybe if I had come a few years earlier, or a few years later… but I guess you can’t think that way really.
Philip: Did he give you any reason to think this way?
Samuel: I dunno. I don’t think it was me though… I think maybe he just wasn’t the type to have children.
Samuel: He was too busy. But I guess if I look around, all parents are busy.
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Samuel: I think I put a lot of pressure on him… my mother too… she put a lot of pressure on him and I think he didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life. He just wanted to fly…
Philip: Why do you think he liked flying?
Samuel: I don’t know. Can’t recall if I asked him come to think of it. It must be the same reason why all pilots like flying… the sense of freedom.
Samuel: I also think he liked to be alone.
Samuel: I think he had a hard to handling people. Especially when people got too intense. He would usually try to escape. No one really gave him room. My mother was the way she was and I was just a kid and I guess he could just be who he was up there in the clouds.
Philip: Who do you think he was when he was up there?
Samuel: He was calm… He was probably quite happy. My dad was someone who thought he wanted more but really didn’t. He didn’t need a lot. He was okay without a lot of material things.
Philip: Anything else.
Samuel: Not that I can think of. I think he would have felt empty up there, but in a good way. Empty of all the stress and he could just be.
Philip: How do you feel now?
Samuel: I’m not sure why but I feel happy.
Philip: From what you told me, your father was happy when he worked and he seemed to work a lot. So he must have been happy a lot.
Samuel: Maybe that’s it.
Philip: Do you think he may have been happy when he was with you?
Philip: Why do you think that?
Samuel: Of course he was happy when he was with me.
Philip: I remember you told me about a fishing trip you had together.
Samuel: Ah yes! We used to have those in the morning before his work. It was just a bit down the road from our house really.
Philip: What else did you do together?
Samuel: We played video games together and watched cartoons sometimes.
Philip: Sounds like you two had a beautiful relationship.
Samuel: Yes, we did. We really did.
Philip: What else?
Samuel: I remember one of the things I liked the most was to lie in the space between him and the backrest of the sofa as we watched TV. I don’t think he thought too much about it but it’s one of the things I remember the most.
Samuel: Sometimes I would put my head on his tummy and listen to his stomach.
Philip: How do you feel now?
Samuel: I feel sad, Phil.
Philip: Why do you feel sad?
Samuel: Sad because I can’t do that anymore. Sad because there were things left unsaid. Said because I want him to be alive.
Philip: What was left unsaid?
Samuel: I’m not sure…
Samuel: I remember being angry at him a lot for what he did to me?
Philip: What did he do?
Samuel: Take me to Singapore. Whenever we would talk about it, he would call me ungrateful and that would be it – end of conversation. He was so stubborn.
Philip: Are you still angry with him?
Samuel: I guess so, yes.
Philip: Does that seem strange to you?
Samuel: It seems wrong. Maybe that’s the word, wrong.
Philip: Why does it seem wrong?
Samuel: You’re not meant to be angry with dead people.
Philip: I think that is where a lot of your anguish stems from.
Samuel: That I am angry with my dad?
Philip: He didn’t understand the issue. He was unable to see why it bothered you to be living in two different countries. Now that he is gone, that issue will never be resolved. And even though you have a lot of good memories with your father, you feel guilty when you are angry at him. We tend to see the dead with rose-tinted glasses. From what you told me, your father seemed like a good person. That is not to say that he was perfect. Of course, there were aspects of his personality that rubbed you the wrong way. After all, we are only human. To make your feelings of anger towards him taboo, will do a lot more harm than good. He was a complex person. We are all complex. And seeing that complexity will do his life justice.
Philip: To only look at the good would be like making a mockery out of what it means to be human.
Samuel: Thank you.
Philip: I’m afraid that’s the end of our session today Samuel…
The last few minutes of the session covers the booking of following sessions and is therefore not transcribed.
Cross Culture Therapy
Creating A Sense Of Belonging
We humans are sociable creatures. A sense of belonging is fundamental to our wellbeing. A simple hello from a stranger can go a long way to lift our spirits, just as much as a dismissive…
Philip Andersson – Life Coach
Philip Andersson is a life-coach who is currently studying to become a psychotherapist. He treats people suffering from depression, phobias and anxiety. Having been raised in Hong Kong and having lived in England and Japan as an adult, Philip also treats people who are overcome with feelings of displacement and rudderlessness associated with a global-nomad lifestyle such as Third Culture Kids, Cross Culture Kids, Migrants and Asylum Seekers.
What We Do!
Cross Culture Therapy offers 1-on-1 online therapy sessions to people suffering from depression, phobia, anxiety as well as to people who suffer from displacement issues associated with a globally nomadic lifestyle (i.e.Third Culture Kids – people who have grown up in a culture different to their parent’s passport culture – and Cross Culture Kids) Our sessions are conducted via Skype for a duration of 50-minutes and can be purchased in packs of 1-session, 3-sessions or 5-sessions. If you are interested in purchasing a session, click on the Book A Session tab on our menu or click here.