Freeing Speech

Talking Therapy with Graham Norton and Orlando Bloom

At Therapy in Manchester, I invite clients to begin each session by speaking freely about what’s on their mind and what comes to mind. For some, this contrasts with their everyday speech in which emphasis is placed on being clear and sticking to the point – this can be counterproductive in therapy. So, I invite clients to resist the inclination to edit or censor what they say, and to speak as freely as they feel able, even giving voice to ‘stray thoughts’ that cross their mind no matter how irrelevant, insignificant or awkward.

Outside of our awareness, so much time and energy – more than we may realise – is spent routinely editing and censoring ourselves. For example, how often have we heard someone say, ‘I don’t wish to criticise you, but…’? We may well wonder why did they bother to bring that up only to deny it! However, as this example may also suggest, at times of difficulty it is through denials and other forms of negation that we seek to maintain and sustain our sense of who we are.

In therapy, that which we deny is telling. To speak freely, however, requires us to be not only relaxed, but also to have confidence that the intervention of our therapist will be respectful. Freeing your speech can take time, some practice and be hugely rewarding. It creates an opportunity to hear yourself speak. For example, to hear what you have wished for, but have not been able to admit, or to acknowledge home truths which seemed necessary to keep hidden or forgotten.

Of course, our speech sometimes frees itself anyway, despite our routine censorship and editing. For example, in the video clip below Orlando Bloom asserts something about his father, and then edits himself, only for Tamsin Greig to draw our attention to what he said originally! That Bloom then engages in an exaggeration – to great comic effect – suggests it may be necessary for him to disguise or to distract our attention away from what he had said originally.

Unlike the risks associated with freeing speech in public, at Therapy in Manchester I provide a respectful and confidential environment enabling clients to hear their freeing speech.