17 March 2010
I call Janet to ask how she got on with her first appointment with Dr Belinda Browne-Thomas and she answers me with her usual humour. “It went quite well once she let me out of my straight jacket.”
Janet tells me things that I have already discussed with my friend and experienced psychologist, Erica, namely that the memory loss could have been caused by a physical or a psychological trauma.
If the cause of Janet’s memory loss is the former then it’s very unlikely that the cause will ever be discovered. If, however, the cause is psychological/stress-related then there is a good chance the reason will be uncovered with therapy. Furthermore, the nightmares are almost certainly linked to Fred’s disappearance. And the reason they have continued for so long? Other stressful factors, apparently, such as going to prison and the affair with Miles.
Janet is advised that she could get to a point where she faces up to the issues and the nightmares will stop.
“She had me summed up after asking me just a few questions,” says Janet sounding impressed.
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“She asked me if I tend to bury bad news rather than talk about it; if I trivialise the stress in my life by telling a joke rather than sharing the burden and I told her that was true.”
Janet and Dr Belinda seem to have hit it off with Janet telling me she is going to continue with the sessions – once a week beginning on the 8 April and yes, Janet has been offered treatment using EMDR therapy and says she is quite prepared to ‘give it a go’.
So far, I find myself in agreement with Dr Belinda B-T about Janet’s character but I change that opinion with Janet’s next statement.
“The doctor tells me that she doesn’t think my ‘stuff’ is buried too deep. Apparently it should only take a few sessions to get to the bottom of the nightmares.”
I can’t tell if Janet sounds sceptical or whether she believes this statement herself, all I know is I don’t believe it. This is a woman who has kept something buried deep in her subconscious for 34 years; how good can Dr Belinda be?