Horses for courses is what I believe in. Many bridge players may be diagnosed with the same disorder or affliction, but I have to consider what treatment each client might best respond to. Sometimes the whole therapeutic process requires a trial and error approach, but over time I have developed a 6th sense of picking the right therapy first. Anyway, the two therapies I want to review in this article have been condemned worldwide by establishment figures, but my clients swear by them........and the money they were happy to hand over is testament to their faith in my methods, and the sense of well being they have experienced afterwards.
The Dice God :
This therapeutic method first came to light in the book " The Dice Man " written by Luke Rhinehart. The main character is a psycho-analyst who believes that each individual is made up of multiple personalities. Or to put it another way, each person has multiple selves. However, it is always the case that one dominant self tends to rule the others....but at the risk of highly dangerous lapses. These unfortunate blips occur because dogged repression of the other selves leads to numerous inner conflicts, which in turn cause massive build-ups of frustration and tension. Since these conflicts never get resolved, umpteen psychological and personality disorders begin to emerge. Keeping a lid on any boiling pot is simply asking for trouble, because when the lid blows it really blows. Bridge players, of course, tend to have these explosive outbursts once inside the heated cauldron of the bridge arena. Inevitably, they succumb to " another self " which has wrestled control in a most disturbing and shocking way.
However, clients who agree to follow the teachings of " The Dice Man " immediately start to see some positive and beneficial outcomes. By allowing the other selves to be released on a controlled basis, the client can overcome their inner conflicts and deal with the root causes of their disorders. Dice therapy enables bridge players to approach the game in a calm and settled way.
Clients tend not to challenge the randomness element of their dice life, because the outcome of every dice roll is purely down to God.....and who would dare argue with him ! By assigning each self and its needs, desires and wants to a dice score, there is an equal chance of any self being put in control, albeit temporarily. Destiny of the roll will then dictate which self will have its day. So although this means a bridge player may turn up to the club as the devil incarnate, the next time might well see him as a god worshipping bible-bashing christian. With no one self ever in permanent control, the client is far more likely to play their bridge in a stable frame of mind. A routine pattern of random behaviour replaces the routine pattern of permanent abnormal behaviour. The madness and aggression, that was once brought on by the internal repression of the other selves, completely vanishes. The therapy is not about role playing : it is about being true to all one's selves.
Sweep It Under The Carpet :
This approach involves creative and imaginative thinking on the part of my bridge playing clients. Their first task is to learn that all the nasty issues........ that cause them to fall victim to a multitude of disorders, afflictions and conditions.......can be swept under the carpet for good. The whole process starts by making them go into an empty room, with dead bugs, rabbit droppings and other assorted nasties littered all over the carpet. They are then told that in order to leave the room they must get rid of all this unwanted trash. Very quickly, these brainy bridge players figure out the only way this can be done is to sweep it under the carpet. The realisation that " once the nasties are out of sight, they are also out of mind " is the all important breakthrough.
Then, of course, the therapeutic process turns to the nasties that occupy the rooms inside their minds. Now they must transfer the learning from that first physical challenge into the greater mental one........ where they simply use an imaginary brush to sweep away all their fears, anxieties and negative emotions, under the imaginary easy-to-lift-up carpets inside their minds. Again, out of sight becomes out of mind.
Some critics dismiss this therapy completely, arguing vehemently that these problems will always resurface with a vengeance.....causing the disorders to become more serious and more damaging. Not so. Because the most important element within this therapy is the client's acquired ability to use their imaginary thinking again......to either lay down even bigger carpets, or to use bigger and stronger tacks. Indeed, should any nasty try to escape from under the carpet, it can be immediately pushed back under, making sure twice as many tacks are used this time round. Indeed, magic carpets are not things you fly around on : they are the simplest solution to a bridge player's troubled mind.