A woman had harboured a fear someone was under her bed at night since she was a child. Finally she went to a psychiatrist and told her about her fears.
“Every night I go to bed I think there’s somebody under it and I’m too scared to look in case I’m right,” she said. The psychiatrist asked lots of questions then took her through a visualisation exercise to help her relax. The woman finished the session feeling less frightened than she’d been but was worried that her fears would return once she got home and went to bed.
The psychiatrist said a long-held fear wouldn’t be completely banished in one session and recommneded that the patient make regular appointments to return at least twice a week for a year as she handed her an invoice for $100 for the session.
The woman thanked the psychaitraist, paid and made an appointment but rang to cancel it a couple of days later.
Several months after this the woman and the psychaitrist met at a party. The Psychiatrist was impressed by how rested her former patient looked and said she was amazed that she’d lost her fears after only one session.
The woman smiled and said, “It wasn’t you who cured me it was a barmaid. After I went to see you, I went for a drink, told her what I’d been doing and said I didn’t think I could afford to pay $100 at least twice a week. The barmaid said that was a lot of money and she could cure me for a one-off fee of $50.”
The psychaitrist was somewhat miffed about this but also curious and asked, “How did the barmaid manage to cure you in just one session?”
“She told me to cut the legs off my bed so no-one can fit under there now,” the woman responded.