chapter  4
The look
ByJohn Madonna
Pages 12

Prior to entering treatment, J’s life consisted of a long period of employment as an instructor at a junior college. Good looking, personable, and hardworking, he got along well with his colleagues and fit easily into the social life of the college, which, he said, “represented a family atmosphere.” He engaged in many sexual liaisons with female staff. J was 30 years old when he sought treatment for a debilitating anxiety and depression following the break-up of a very intense love relationship with a woman. After less than a year he had found the woman to be emotionally unavailable, despite her sensuality. She had, however, left him. Around the same time, J also felt disappointed by a male colleague who had asked him to co-teach an interesting course, but then recanted. Both of these events had left him with the unbearable feeling that he was “alone in the world.” Prior to commencing sessions with me, he had been hospitalized for his inability to manage his anxiety, which had eventuated into repetitive panic attacks for which there had been no relief. He dreaded that he would lose all control of his mind. He had been unable to work. Neither the outpatient psychiatric medication nor any attempt at social contact seemed to sufficiently allay his fears.