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 49 Karin Mamma Andersson Inside the moody, mysterious world of Sweden’s preeminent painter. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Jenny Odell The acclaimed author in search of lost time. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Amalie Smith The Danish arts writer finding clarity between the lines. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Ryan Heffington Meet the man bringing choreography, community and queer joy to the desert. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Nell Wulfhart Advice from a decision coach.