Lie back, close your eyes andconjure a scene of psychoanalysis. Most likely, a couch is there, in the middle of an expensive-looking office. The first person to come to mind (after your therapist, if you have one) might be Woody Allen. Or, perhaps, a 60-something white man stroking his beard, looking inquisitive and vaguely alarmed. The therapeutic couch was first utilized in the 1890s by Sigmund Freud, the Austrian founder of psychoanalysis (and archetype of our beardy, bespectacled intellectual above). Since then, the humble piece of furniture has become so associated with psychotherapy that the phrase “on the couch” has come to signify the practice. But the couch has traditionally been more a means to an end, rather than something valuable in itself, says Dr. Mark Gerald on the phone from his practice in, This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Five Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 27 Jamieson Webster A conversation with a New York psychoanalyst. Arts & Culture Issue 51 Emily Gernild The Danish painter breathing new life into an old medium. Arts & Culture Food Issue 51 Imogen Kwok The artist takes food styling quite literally, creating accessories out of fruits and vegetables. Arts & Culture Design Issue 51 How to Make a Chair And do it on a tiny budget. Arts & Culture Issue 51 Odd Jobs The comedian with strong opinions about your home décor. Arts & Culture Issue 51 Tall Order The hidden depths of height.