Issue 201 | Correspondence | The Sun Magazine


It was heartening to see a discussion of therapist fees [“Delicate Business,” Issue 200], since paying for therapy is like mixing oil and water.

When I was first in therapy, I began dealing with issues that made me feel desperate and scared. Or maybe I had developed an inappropriate dependence on my therapist. In any event, I needed more therapy — more than I could afford. That’s when the reality of my relationship with my therapist hit me.

I still do therapy occasionally, but I am aware of its contractual nature. I make sure I have a well-focused issue. And I make sure I get my money’s worth.

I don’t think therapists are entitled to the same fees doctors charge. It’s unclear exactly what they’re offering. Certainly, they deserve remuneration for their time and skilled listening, but there’s a lot of pretense involved in therapy.

Clients pretend therapists care about them personally. It makes the therapy more powerful but it isn’t (and can’t be) true. Therapists pretend their work is based on reliable science, that they know what they are doing. Most of the time, they don’t.

One of the most poignant aspects of the essay was the therapist’s ambivalence about charging for his work, and his difficulty in dealing with his own feelings.

Carolyn Steinhaus Sioux City, Iowa

Thank you for being brave enough to talk about the ambiguities of abortion [“When the Bough Breaks,” Issue 198]. Your thoughtful and honest commentary strikes a rare chord that is usually drowned out by the shouts of both sides.

Mary Julia Street Ambler, Pennsylvania

Is it possible, is it true, that only girls have mothers, have feelings about mothers, write about mothers, grieve for their mothers, and have to sign their stories about mothers under “Name Withheld”? In Readers Write about “Mother” [Issue 198], there are no submissions by men.

Katya Taylor Tallahassee, Florida

Maybe you should publish two Suns: the new, improved version for the now-generation, and Sun-classic for those who miss the familiar taste of the original format.

Lewis K. Elbinger Nairobi

Due to the adverse economy and my own romantic illusions, I have lived in my van for much of the past five years. One problem with this lifestyle is the difficulty of getting current issues of The Sun, to which I’m hopelessly addicted. Last year I picked up the April issue in Burlington, Vermont; the May issue in Philadelphia; the June issue in Boulder, Colorado; the July issue in Charlottesville, Virginia; and the August issue in Ithaca, New York. Often I would be camping in the back country and would make a trip into town specifically to get The Sun.

Alas, now that I am a subscriber, my problems are still not solved. In June I moved back into my van and could leave you no forwarding address. The monthly issues arrive at my parents’ house and lie unread until I happen to pass through. I’m happy to report, however, that three-week-old copies of The Sun are just as tasty as those hot off the press. (If only tofu would stay fresh that long!)

Eddy Rubin Somewhere in Pennsylvania

You put it perfectly when you said “it stung.” That’s how I felt when I read about Hella’s death [“Hella Hammid,” Issue 200]. I always recognized her photographs on your pages. She was so free, so unafraid of being who she was. Now I’m hungry to see more of her work. Maybe you will feature her work again in future issues?

I’m feeling I’ve just met her for the first time because of your tribute. Why do we have to die to be precious? I’m beginning now to appreciate more, to relish what’s here before it goes. I’ll begin with you. Your words brought back Hella’s beauty and purpose, and I’m inspired. Thanks, Hella and thanks, Sy.

Mary Bloom New York, New York
The Sun responds:

Thanks to an arrangement with Hella Hammid’s son, Tino, we will be able to continue using Hella’s photographs. See this month’s cover.

— Ed.

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