The Wing Chun of Psychotherapy

This weekend, sitting at the foot of the Drakensburg, I decided to start re-reading “Maps of Narrative Practice”, by Michael White.  The book was a gift from one of my dearest friends and colleagues when I left Johannesburg.  As i started to read it, this time around I was struck by the correlations one could…

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Living despite tears. Living to the point of tears.

I’ll tell you a little known secret and perhaps save you some disappointment: the idea that psychology can cure the pains of the human heart is mythical. For this reason I envy the achievements of modern medicine. Through good science and thorough practice it has managed to successfully cure many of the physical ills we…

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Truth vs Hope

Lately, colleagues and I have been debating the issue of “prognosis”. More specifically, when it comes to people with severe illnesses or injuries, in a physical rehabilitation setting: how, when and if we should communicate “prognosis” to them? There seem to be two camps of thinking when it comes to this. On the one hand,…

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Why tell stories?

“If you want to know me, then you must know my story, for my story defines who I am. And if I want to know myself, to gain insight into the meaning of my own life, then I, too, must come to know my own story. I must come to see in all its particulars…

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Put it in writing

1) Language.  Being able to put your thoughts and feelings into words is essential to human existence.  Our ability for what is called “symbolic thought” is what distinguishes us from most of the animal kingdom.  So, for example, my little boy is starting to learn that round things are balls.  At first he would call…

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Reconciliation

Last week South Africa celebrated its Day of Reconciliation.  The shifting significance of this day tells an interesting story, in itself, about our nation’s transformational history.  Originally signifying the victory of the Afrikaners over the Zulus, at the Battle of the Blood River, later becoming the anniversary of the formation of the armed wing of…

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