Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Projection aka The Sophie Cat WILL be lonely for me while I'm away

According to wikipedia (such a reliable source I know) Freud says that "projection is a psychological defense mechanism whereby one 'projects' one's own undesirable thoughts, motivations, desires and feelings onto someone else". In my work, I see projection a lot, however I haven't really been thinking about it a lot in terms of myself, and certainly not in terms of my relationship with Sophie Cat! Today I went to see my counsellor, who I see about once every five weeks or so, just to check in, and she pointed out to me that I seemed to be placing a lot of care and concern on what Sophie Cat might be feeling about life events worry about how they might affect her, without really being able to clearly articulate that I might be having similar feelings.

Monday, I got the keys to my new house. My new roommate and her cat move in on Thursday, and the cats and I move in next Wednesday. Then the last two weeks of September, I am going on a vacation with my dad and leaving my cats with my roommate to look after. Naturally, I expect that Sophie Cat is going to hate this. That she's going to have anxiety, that's she's going to be stressed, that she's going to pine for me. I worry that she'll get sick, or stop eating, or go back to her old evil, angry and hissing self. I worry that she'll hate the new cat and that things won't work out. I worry that she'll miss me terribly. And while these concerns are semi realistic (cats don't like change, especially Sophie Cat, there may also be some projection going on here).

Perhaps, I'm a bit nervous about not liking my roommate, just as I'm worried that Sophie will hate the new cat. Perhaps I'm a lot worried about getting homesick for my house and my cats, just like I'm worried Sophie won't like the new set up. Perhaps I'm worried that with my limited diet I won't be able to find food I can eat. And I'm sure there's some part of me that worries about what it will be like spending two weeks with my father. (I probably won't start hissing any more than I already do though...)

So these week, I plan to spend more time paying attention to projection. Not just what I'm projecting onto the cat, but what I'm projecting on to other people. I think it's an important thing to look at, particularly with clients, but in my personal life as well. It will be interesting to look at, and see if I notice anything. Also, I think I'll pay a little extra attention to my Sophie Cat. For both ours sakes!

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