Transcript of 3rd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Phylis Birch, Monday, September 16, 1996 at 12:00 noon.

Dr. Balis: May I help you?
Ms. Birch: Hello Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Ms. Birch?
Ms. Birch: Yes, it's me.
Dr. Balis: Phylis, that's quite a transformation.
Ms. Birch: I just thought it'd be fun for you to see Martha since we started to talk about her last week.
Dr. Balis: I'm interested. Now I know what you were describing. It is a very convincing disguise.
Ms. Birch: I thought perhaps we could go through this session with Martha instead of with me.
Dr. Balis: Certainly, as you like.
Ms. Birch: I don't do accents or dialects or anything. In fact, I use some real experiences of mine to fill out her story. But for the most part she, I mean this me, is a separate person.
Dr. Balis: So tell me something about this self.
Ms. Birch: I'm divorced and have a thirteen year old daughter Emily who is currently living with her father in Minnesota. I left the Midwest when I was twenty-two. My husband and I split up. We got split custody of the girl, but he had money and I didn't. I couldn't give her a good, stable home, so I resigned to letting her father bring her up as he pleased. I moved to Boston for awhile because I knew some people there, then I came here. I haven't seen my Emily in eight years. At first I would call and visit, but soon visiting got too expensive, so I was coming less and less often. Not that I didn't want to. I always wanted to. Finally, her father asked me not to call so much (once a week or so), saying that it was affecting Emily in bad way. That he was seeing someone, and that he wanted for this woman to have a chance to be close to her. Maybe even a family. I wanted what was best for my daughter, so I agreed to call just twice a month. But when I did call he wouldn't let us talk for very long, or tell me that she was sleeping or something. With time, he asked me to stop calling all together because it was confusing the child. I was furious, but didn't know what to do. I couldn't come and get her, though I thought about it often, and she seemed to be doing well without me. Slowly, I let him pressure me into cutting off all contact. However I do have a P.O. Box that he writes to once a month to keep me current on Emily's life. That was the deal, you see.
Dr. Balis: That's quite specific. Do you usually tell your story all at once?
Ms. Birch: No, rarely so. It generally comes up one tid bit at a time.
Dr. Balis: Does Martha miss Emily?
Ms. Birch: Very much. She says a prayer for her every night.
Dr. Balis: What about her ex-husband? Does he have a name?
Ms. Birch: No. Uh, I never gave him a name.
Dr. Balis: That's interesting, considering how detailed the rest of your story is.
Ms. Birch: Well, you're referring to Martha as me only because we're playing this game, right? You understand that Martha is a character that I made up in order to keep my real life separate.
Dr. Balis: Of course. So, why would you not invent a name for Martha's ex-husband? Hasn't it ever come up?
Ms. Birch: It has but I always managed to change the subject. You see, I'm afraid that if I were to give him a name, I might slip and use it instead of Jack. That would be extremely suspicious.
Dr. Balis: Probably so, yes.
Ms. Birch: You know Dr. Balis, since I'm all made and everything, I would like to cut our session short this week and stop by a local place before heading back to the office.
Dr. Balis: We've only just started these sessions, Phylis. I think it would be inappropriate for you to leave in the middle. We have over twenty minutes left.
Ms. Birch: I'm sorry Doctor, but it's something I feel I must do. I'm already in the make-up and everything. I do hope you'll understand.
Dr. Balis: Look, ultimately it's your call. But don't do this again. I'm not to become the excuse that you use to hang out in bars. Can you come again on Friday, the 20th? Say around noon?
Ms. Birch: Let's see. I have a lunch date with Jack. What about after work?
Dr. Balis: I can't make that. How about this same time next Monday, the 23rd of September. Will that still work for you?
Ms. Birch: Yom Kippur. Okay. See you then.
Dr. Balis: Do eat something Phylis. Alcohol on an empty stomach and then back to work...
Ms. Birch: I will. I will. I know how to look after myself.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye then.
Ms. Birch: Ciao.
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Button to Dr. Balis' Notes Doctor Balis' Notes on this Session

Button to Phylis Birch's Transcripts Transcripts of Phylis Birch's Therapy Sessions
Button to Phylis Birch's Patient File Phylis Birch's Patient File

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