Royal therapy

In psychotherapy, there’s the notion of the therapist as a blank slate, the recipient/catalyst of all manner of transference from the client. Of course, there is no such thing as a blank slate, and you want a real person sat before you too. But there’s the intention not to intrude, and that matters. It makes for the work, which is as if the feelings of the past become present once more, only now to be sorted out.

It occurred to me that the queen acts something like this, not least on her trip to Ireland this week. It’s been heralded as a tremendous success. In her understated way, she talks quietly of troubles, suffering, conflict. And that’s been a trigger. Feelings of the past came to the fore, only now so as to bring reconciliation, ease, peace.

She is a bit of blank slate, or an emerald one this week. It’s often said that her silence is her greatest asset. Our national therapist in chief?