Transcript of 1st Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. George Landau, Monday, January 20, 1997 at 4:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello. Mr. Landau? Please come in.
Mr. Landau: There's nothing wrong with me, you know.
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry?
Mr. Landau: There's nothing wrong with me. I think this is a waste of time.
Dr. Balis: It's okay if you feel that way. But would you like to sit down? We can at least talk in comfort.
Mr. Landau: You're actually going to do it, aren't you? You want me to break down and tell you all about myself and then you're going to tell me it's all right for me to feel that way. And then God knows what.
Dr. Balis: I would hope our time here is led by your needs.
Mr. Landau: And I suppose you know better than I what my needs are.
Dr. Balis: That's not the idea. Please, won't you sit down?
Mr. Landau: Oh...yes, all right.
Dr. Balis: Thank you. I'm Dr. Charles Balis.
Mr. Landau: Look, I've got work to do. I don't need treatment. I don't need to talk things over and discover my repressed childhood memories. There's nothing wrong with me. It's not me who's the problem.
Dr. Balis: Who is the problem?
Mr. Landau: Well you should know. You'll be reporting back to him, won't you?
Dr. Balis: Mr. Landau, please calm down. I won't be reporting back to anybody. And I don't understand why you are here if you don't want to be.
Mr. Landau: I've been...instructed to see you.
Dr. Balis: Instructed? By whom?
Mr. Landau: Simon W. Taylor. Our esteemed Head of Administration here at SII. My immediate superior. Another young man.
Dr. Balis: Have you visited a therapist before, Mr. Landau?
Mr. Landau: No.
Dr. Balis: Please let me explain what my position is. I have a contract to make myself available to employees of SII for consultation. Like any other doctor, I'm bound by oath to keep what my patients tell me confidential. I've never heard of your boss before and I won't be reporting what you tell me to him or anybody else.
Mr. Landau: Hmm. So what do you want from me?
Dr. Balis: It's not like that, Mr. Landau. I would hope that during an hour session we would talk over your situation in a way that might be helpful to you.
Mr. Landau: And if I don't feel like opening up to you?
Dr. Balis: Then we can talk about something else. But can you explain what you meant when you said you had been instructed to come to me? Normally my patients seek therapy by themselves, or are referred by another doctor. There's no element of compulsion.
Mr. Landau: I don't know whether it's just another slap in the face or whether he genuinely thinks there's something wrong with me. Taylor. Barely out of UCB and he thinks he knows it all.
Dr. Balis: UCB?
Mr. Landau: University of California at Berkeley. Across the Bay, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: I know where you mean. Please carry on.
Mr. Landau: In days past, he would never have been promoted above me. But he has all the high-tech stuff and of course that's what counts in this company.
Dr. Balis: It does seem odd that a new graduate should be Head of Administration.
Mr. Landau: Oh, I'm exaggerating. He's in his thirties. But he did some masters course and even arts students are plugged in to the things now.
Dr. Balis: Computers?
Mr. Landau: Yes.
Dr. Balis: In what way did Mr. Taylor make the suggestion that you visit me?
Mr. Landau: He's been my manager for about six months now, and he was happy to learn from me for the first three. But he started getting irritable and he's made my life a misery for weeks now. I think he believes I'm lazy. As if he can't see I'm working like a dog. Now he suggests I go to a psychiatrist and he drops heavy hints that it's that or the sack.
Dr. Balis: What type of thing does he confront you about?
Mr. Landau: Oh, it's just different approaches and he can't see that. I've been doing this kind of job for twenty-five years. I know what works. But it has to be done his way, on the latest piece of electronic wizardry. I could do my job perfectly well if he would just let me get on with it.
Dr. Balis: Could you tell me something about your job?
Mr. Landau: I'm a Senior Administrator. There are two of us within the company. I am responsible for building maintenance, purchasing, conference travel, furniture...quite a few areas. I manage three other staff and handle visiting contractors.
Dr. Balis: You haven't been with SII for twenty-five years though.
Mr. Landau: No. I worked at a publishers until three years ago. Doing much the same. But they were making cutbacks--sorry, downsizing--and I ended up jobless. It was awful. I was worried about the children. But a friend heard about the vacancy here and pushed me into applying.
Dr. Balis: I see you have two children.
Mr. Landau: Yes. Daniel's 11 now. He's going to be a librarian, I think. You've never seen such an organiser. Elizabeth's 13 and she's getting a little awkward with her mother and me. I suppose this is only the beginning.
Dr. Balis: You sound very fond of them.
Mr. Landau: Well, of course. It's up to me to give them every chance I can.
Dr. Balis: And how do you get on with your wife?
Mr. Landau: Melissa? Fine...wait a minute.
Dr. Balis: What's wrong?
Mr. Landau: You've done it, haven't you? You've got me to spill out my private life. I wasn't even going to come in here and I've ended up telling you about my family, my job, my feelings.
Dr. Balis: Mr. Landau, please. This isn't some contest where I try to extract secrets from you. I don't want you to tell me anything you're not comfortable with. And I really don't want you to be here against your will.
Mr. Landau: What age are you, Doctor?
Dr. Balis: I'm thirty-six.
Mr. Landau: Well, I'm fifty-two. What makes you think you can sort out my problems?
Dr. Balis: I have qualifications in psychiatry and psychotherapy. This is what I do for a living. I'm not offering you any instant answers. I'm just a resource, if you like. A trained therapist with whom you can choose to explore whatever you're feeling.
Mr. Landau: It's all right for you to say that. But if I don't come here, Taylor will have me out of a job.
Dr. Balis: There are other avenues you could explore. However, we're short of time now. I don't feel we've had as good a session today as we might. Can I make a suggestion?
Mr. Landau: What?
Dr. Balis: Why don't you make another appointment for next week, and take the time to think it over. If you really don't see any point in us meeting again, that's fine. But if you're willing to give it a try, I'll be pleased to see you and we'll have another session. Deal?
Mr. Landau: all right. Although I don't think as many alternatives exist as you believe, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: How about next Monday at 4 pm?
Mr. Landau: Yes, I can fit that in. I'm sorry if I've been rude to you, Doctor. It's not really you that I'm angry at.
Dr. Balis: I understand.
Mr. Landau: Tell me one last thing though before I go.
Dr. Balis: What would you like to know?
Mr. Landau: Do you believe in evil?
Dr. Balis: Evil?
Mr. Landau: Yes.
Dr. Balis: I believe people have a great capacity to hurt others and destroy what they see around them.
Mr. Landau: That's not what I meant. Do you believe in evil as a separate force in its own right?
Dr. Balis: I'm not sure. Do you?
Mr. Landau: Perhaps I'll see you next week, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Okay Mr. Landau. Next week it is.
Arrow, Left, Up & Out Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

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Button to George Landau's Transcripts Transcripts of George Landau's Communications
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