The Pruned Tree

The case study “The Pruned Tree” investigates how people can come to terms with losing their voice. The story can however also be used in other situations such as amputations and surgical interventions of all kinds, in particular mastectomies, the operative removal of sexual organs and sterilisation. In these cases the metaphor expresses the idea that the removal of the body parts which symbolise fertility (or the loss of their functionality) furthers goals aligned with fertility. Fertility is reframed as innovative energy and creativity, and the parts of the personality associated with the body part are asked to consent to the operation and to reconcile themselves with the consenting personality parts.

I recently met a Russian man in hospital who had undergone a laryngectomy. His son had painted him a picture of a tree bearing red apples, with the following caption in big letter; “The tree was pruned, and now it bears more fruit than ever. Dear father, we loved your voice. But we love you much more!”

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