Transcript of 45th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Katherine Lippard, Wednesday, May 13, 1998 at 4:00 pm.

Ms. Lippard: Hey, Doc! Miss me?
Dr. Balis: Hello, Katherine. How have you been?
Ms. Lippard: Okay. I found out that we pretty much don't have a financial department after three forty-five on Wednesdays.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Ms. Lippard: Apparently this started when I was the office manager. They realized I had a standing appointment and would never be there on Wednesday afternoons, so everyone just got in the habit of taking off early. The newest guy actually thought it was a long- standing policy! So between coming in at eight thirty in the morning, taking an hour off for lunch, and leaving early Wednesdays and Fridays, I figure the average work week in my department is about thirty five hours.
Dr. Balis: Is that okay with you?
Ms. Lippard: What's the hell? The work gets done. Besides, managing the office is Jeff's job now. So I'll go with the flow--I'll go to the Alliance on Wednesdays.
Dr. Balis: That sounds reasonable.
Ms. Lippard: I was thinking on the way over here about all the things I have to catch you up on. I'm used to only telling you a week's worth of stuff; so much can happen in two weeks.
Dr. Balis: I don't have to know everything that happens to you, just the things that affect your emotional well-being.
Ms. Lippard: Well, all of this bears on my psychological state.
Dr. Balis: Okay. Go ahead.
Ms. Lippard: I had that talk with Jake that you recommended. I took him out to dinner--just friends--and we talked. He admitted he was hurting over the breakup. I admitted I was, too. But we agreed that getting back together would be stupid. I assured him that I didn't reject him personally. He agreed that we weren't meant for each other long term. It started off rather awkwardly, but after a bottle of wine and an hour of conversation, we got comfortable with each other again. I think we can stay friends.
Dr. Balis: That sounds like a good thing.
Ms. Lippard: I think so. I've never done that before; it'll be interesting to see if I can pull it off. We're going hiking this weekend with a small group.
Dr. Balis: Going with a group is a good idea. And I think keeping Jake's friendship will be good for both of you.
Ms. Lippard: So do I. You know, when I told him that I didn't reject him personally, I thought I was lying. Do you remember all the things I said about him being shallow and uneducated?
Dr. Balis: Yes, I do.
Ms. Lippard: He's not, really. Mostly, he's just uncommunicative. I think I was just using those things to help justify leaving him. I really do respect him, and I like him. I'm just not in love with him.
Dr. Balis: People often come up with a list of negative attributes--real or perceived--to help them get out of relationships. But most never realize it. It shows a great degree of self-awareness to notice what you were doing.
Ms. Lippard: Thanks. I'd like to have seen it while I was doing it, but I guess I still need some practice.
Dr. Balis: Anything gets better with practice. You have a good start. Just try to keep an eye on yourself and sometimes stop to ask yourself, "Is this what I really believe, or am I making this up for some other purpose?" Continue to practice being aware of your own motivations and emotional and mental states, and you'll do fine.
Ms. Lippard: I will. I like knowing what's going inside my head. I'm surprised I did so well for so long without understanding anything about how my own mind works.
Dr. Balis: Most people go a whole lifetime that way. You're way ahead of the general population.
Ms. Lippard: Hmm, I like that. Of course you know that's going to go straight to my head and make me even more snooty and superior, don't you?
Dr. Balis: I don't think so.
Ms. Lippard: Well, that reminds me: Alex's parents are getting married.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lippard: That's a very neutral response, Doctor Balis. It's almost as if you didn't know about this. Yes, Larraine is marrying the father of her oldest son, a mere eighteen years late. And I'm invited, can you believe it?
Dr. Balis: Really? Are you going?
Ms. Lippard: I think I will. I want to show her there's no hard feelings. But I went to Nordstrom, and my god! They're registered for Lenox and Waterford and other equally pricey luxury items. I've been to Larraine's house, and this is way beyond her. It's as if she's trying to buy social status. This reminds me of my sister-in-law--she's more concerned with social standing than with any kind of practicality.
Dr. Balis: I'm sure Larraine and Mark already have all the normal household items they need.
Ms. Lippard: I'm sure that's true, but unless they're entertaining the Kennedy’s--or my sister-in-law--they don't need two hundred dollar leaded crystal brandy snifters with individual sterling silver warmers. I might get them a crock-pot.
Dr. Balis: Are you serious?
Ms. Lippard: Sure! At least they might actually use it. I don't care how rich you are; it's a waste of money and resources to display fine china in a case just so people can be impressed.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lippard: Speaking of wasting money, I may sell my condo.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Ms. Lippard: I'm thinking about a house high up in Forest Hill or maybe over in Sea Cliff, although I do like my view of the Bay.
Dr. Balis: Why do you want to move?
Ms. Lippard: I just want a house with a little lawn. I guess I'm kind of nostalgic for space. Plus, not being all about business any more, I don't want to live downtown. When I leave work, I want to leave the business district, to have that demarcation between my job and my life.
Dr. Balis: I understand. A clear separation can keep things in better perspective.
Ms. Lippard: Exactly. Plus, I have this ton of money to spend.
Dr. Balis: From that stock trade you told me about?
Ms. Lippard: Oh that was nothing next to this. My first set of options with SII matured, and I cashed in on the new valuation. How does this sound: "The Katherine L. Lippard Foundation is making grants to enhance the safety of America's youth."
Dr. Balis: That sounds very nice.
Ms. Lippard: I'll support studies of teen crime and after school programs, things like that. If Robert Wood Johnson and Charles Stuart Mott can have foundations, why not me? I'll use all the skills I used to build the retirement program to build a charitable foundation. Maybe it'll even live on after I die.
Dr. Balis: That's very noble, Katherine. But you have quite a lot on your plate now, don't you?
Ms. Lippard: Yes, I do. But Leigha is being very helpful. We're becoming quite good friends. You'd be proud of me. I like her a lot.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad to hear that. It certainly sounds like you're enjoying your life.
Ms. Lippard: I am. Finally, I am. Doctor Balis, I am profoundly grateful. I couldn't have done this without you. I know it's your job, but I don't think that just any therapist could have done what you did with me so quickly.
Dr. Balis: Thank you, Katherine. But I'm just a facilitator. You did the work.
Ms. Lippard: Your modesty is thin, Doctor. Go ahead and beam. I see you wanting to.
Dr. Balis: Is anything else on your mind today, Katherine?
Ms. Lippard: Yes, in fact there is. I've given some more thought to my father.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Ms. Lippard: I know you think that I should be upset with him or, I guess you expect it. But I just love him too much to be mad. If Phil told me he had to move to Paris to be the kind of artist he wanted to be, I'd want him to stay of course, but I'd tell him to go. I guess I'm disappointed that Daddy never got back in touch with me, but I'm not mad at him. I'm hurt about what happened to me, but it's too late to do anything about that now. What I can do is try to help kids who are in that kind of situation now. That's part of what my foundation and the Recreation Alliance will be about. I'm angry about what happened to me as a child, I'll admit that. Maybe it's not directed the way psychiatry thinks it should be, but it is what it is. And I'm angry that other kids have to go through that through no fault of their own. But I can help make it better. Maybe I can't personally make a kid's life better, but I can provide the funds to pay someone else who knows how to do it. That's what I'm good at. If I can prevent one little girl from growing up like I did because of some screw-up by her parents, then it'll be worth every penny I spend.
Dr. Balis: I think you can help considerably more than one little girl.
Ms. Lippard: I hope so. Boy, I really got on a soapbox there, didn't I? That sounds like the start of a good fund-raising speech. Maybe I should write that down.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lippard: I think I will. That just gave me an idea for a series of dinners. I'll discuss that with Leigha tonight. She's cooking dinner for me.
Dr. Balis: That's nice.
Ms. Lippard: It should be. Well, thank you again, Doctor Balis. You've really made a difference. Uh, would it violate your ethics to give you a hug?
Dr. Balis: I think that would be all right.
Ms. Lippard: Good. Okay, see you in two weeks.
Dr. Balis: Good night, Katherine.
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