Essay about grey gardens

Submitted By Rasha-Mardini
Words: 1391
Pages: 6

The purpose of this paper is a personal reflection that allows me to draw on internally to figure out ways on how I would empathize with the two women if I were to connect with either of them as clients. Before expanding on my thoughts and translating them onto paper, I figured I would start by elaborating the meaning of empathy. Empathetic, as Carl Rogers explains in his 1974 lecture, is a very special way of being with another person. It allows the therapist to feel completely at home in the universe of the patient and to sense the client’s inner world of private personal meanings “as if” it were the therapist’s own, but without ever losing the “as if” quality (Rogers, 1975). In that sense, I think internalizing the meaning of empathy and living by it during the hour of therapy is a vital step I would have to take before starting any kind of treatment with both these women. It’s no surprise that stepping into their world as a therapist is a difficult task, but one thing I would need to constantly remind myself is that they are human with a past, just like myself. I would need to set aside any kind of labels I know I could place on them, or any forms of judgments that may occur at some point during the therapy that would keep me from doing my job. One way I think would help me get over that risk is by finding certain aspects of their story that would allow that feeling of empathy to appear. I would focus on those findings and figure out how to enter their world based on what I was able to empathize with. For example, “little” Edie strikes me as a person who missed out on having a chance in life. This is a woman who sacrificed her own happiness and gave up on fame and fortune to stay close to her mother. Throughout the movie, Edie is seen going through her old pictures and reminiscing the old days. Many scenes show her looking at her finger and wishing there was a ring on it. At the beginning of the movie, she’d be going through a book of horoscopes and we hear her say that she would be a good match with a man whose horoscope is a Libra. The costumes also play an important role in understanding her world. She likes to wear skirts upside down. She is never seen without a turban (in my opinion, it’s because she lost her hair somehow but refused to accept that reality). She dresses in lace curtains, in bedspreads, in bathing suits that were last seen on the cover of Life, circa 1948. This a woman whose past way stolen away from her and is figuring out ways to remain in that time. She is dwelling on her better memories and a part of her blames her mother for it. There is a reason why she didn’t make it to the big screens like she knew she could, with all her beauty and poise and her ability to attract men. There’s no denying it took a lot courage and bravery and above all, sacrifice from Edie to be able to drop what could’ve been a bright future for her all for the sake of being close to her mother. What I find very admiring about her character is that despite not having the life she wanted, she doesn’t allow anyone to take pity on her life. In one scene, Edie describes the complexity of the dynamics befittingly when she tells the brothers: “You don’t see me as I see myself. But you’re very good, what you see me as. I mean it’s okay.” Rogers, on his lecture on empathy, states that in order to really listen, the therapist must listen with sensitivity and real understanding in order to empathize with a client. And I think focusing on Edie’s strength and understanding how she got to this kind of life will allow me to empathize with her. And the question I would want to find the answer to is what happened to Eddie to make her retreat from the world and remain with her mother? Moving on to the other client, Edith, I have to admit that I had a harder time finding reasons to sympathize with her. It’s no surprise that Edith and her daughter have some kind of love-hate relationship. The constant bickering and