By Annie Freud
I am here to welcome you
and to help you prepare for what is about to happen.
I can see that you're hoping that we've decided to call it off for today
but I'm afraid that is something we never do.
We consider ourselves very lucky that you're here at all
and our years of experience have taught us that it's always better
to go ahead as planned.
First, at the risk of repeating what has already been said in the letter,
you have been personally selected for this by people who know
what they're doing. We have no doubt in your ability to cope.
And the chances of anything going wrong on the technical front
are so minuscule as to render any concern you may have
as insignificant. At this point we usually offer
a glass of water as you won't be taking anything with you
once the doors are closed.
Secondly, there's the science that governs our practice.
There's been some debate in the public domain about why
up to now we haven't opted for the so-called virtual route
and looked at ways of mimicking reality.
The consensus is that absolutely nothing beats
real human beings—the richness of their emotional responses,
their capacity for facing the unknown—it's truly humbling.
And our concern for the integrity of any data we gather is genuine.
In return, our job is infinitely more rewarding, knowing
that we are doing our utmost to secure your co-operation
and make you as comfortable as possible.
I think that's everything covered.
If you would kindly undress in one of our cubicles;
your protective clothing is ready for you to put on.