I mentioned in a previous post that I have been reading the Harry Potter series. I’m on the last book now, dreading being finished, since the story has so captivated my attention, and yet, rushing to find out what happens next.

I have fallen completely in love with the idea of magic. In Rowling’s books, magic is both a matter of having the right tools (a wand, for instance) and using oneself in the proper way. In the third book, Harry learns that in order to create a Patronus, he must conjure a happy thought. It isn’t enough to hold the image in his mind; he has to feel it wholly, immerse himself in it. Likewise, the Cruciatus curse doesn’t work properly unless the person casting it can actually take pleasure in inflicting pain.

In other words, in order to perform magic, a person must know mind and self thoroughly, and to have access to many different parts of self means having a wider array of magic available, more power. I actually think of this now when doing psychotherapy with my clients. What type of magic can be brought to bear on this situation? What aspect of self can I help this person access so that he has the power he needs? I’ve noticed that when I’m working with someone deeply, and we are actually getting somewhere, the therapy hour seems to draw out, and I lose track of where we have been, so much so, sometimes, that I have trouble writing notes at the end because it seems like so very much has happened that I’m unable to summarize.

I’m using magic as a metaphor here, not a simile. It’s not like magic; it is magic. Time slows down. Impossible things happen.

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