I think there is always truth, even of a distorted or an indirect kind, in any outpouring. How can there not be? What is inside is poured out, and the form it comes out in is usually not a matter of very much choice or conscious intent; it always involves distortions, whether big or small, which communicate something true, if only a listener can understand something of their relationship to truth (the principle of the distortion) and what lies beneath.

The stories we tell about our lives may not be an accurate reflection of what really happened, indeed they may be more remarkable for their inaccuracies than anything else. (I don’t want to call them lies, although of course people do sometimes lie out of cynicism or shame.) But they are simply all we have to work with, or all that we know we have; and we can do a great deal with these stories, particularly if we take the view that there are truths, of the subjective and intersubjective kind, to be revealed in the manner of telling.

– Arabella Kurtz, The Good Story: Exchanges on Truth, Fiction and Psychotherapy (2015)


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