The Conversational Chair

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As Chris entered the serene room, he couldn’t help but notice how clean and organized Dr. O’Brien kept his office. Each calm step he took held back the anxiety brought on by this meeting. Speaking to a psychiatrist felt like a confessional. After five year six month and thirteen days with no results, what’s the point of going?  But there was something in the way that Dr. O’Brien spoke that promised change; although no promise was actually made.

After receiving a formal gesture to set, Chris hesitated. The low back, grey modern style chair with it’s tightly stretched material gave it a rock-hard appearance. Transferring his weight to the chair, he felt it conform to his body, feeling nothing like it appeared. Wanting to comment on the chair, Chris held his tongue. It was likely that many other clients before him had already made the same statement. It would be foolish for him to do the same. Besides he was here for Dr. O’Brien, not the chair.

Pleasantries were exchanged and the Dr. O’Brien just started conversing. The more Chris interacted, the less it felt like a confessional session. In fact, it was just two guys talking about their childhood. The two compared memories about the 90’s. Chris found himself talking about things that he didn’t even talk to his brother about. When the conversation got too deep, Dr. O’Brien would change the tempo, never asking how anything made Chris feel.

The session came to an end and Chris stood up taking one last look at the chair.

“Is there something wrong?” Dr. O’Brien inquired.

“No. But it is striking in how similar this chair is to the conversation we just had.” Pausing he shook Dr. O’Brien’s hand. “I enjoyed our conversation as much as I enjoyed setting in this block-style chair.”

“What good is a conversation if one cannot relax?”

Turning back as he exited the room, Chris smiled. “Indeed.”


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