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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Never mind global warming, what about love?

Never mind global warming.  There is a far more immediate crisis.  Bald eagles, striped hyenas, snow geese and the rest of their monogamous counterparts are growing increasingly disillusioned by human attempts at paired breeding.  What they don’t realise is that us humans have a tendency to gravely overcomplicate our lives with grand utopian ideals.  The…

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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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“Life is so”

Today, Evangalia wore her usual smile as she came walking into our consultation room.  Despite her stroke, she carries herself like a retired ballerina.  Not as capable as she might have always been, yet, so composed.  I was curious about this composure, about the skill she brings to this traumatic life experience she seems to…

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The necessity of madness in the story of surviving spinal cord injury

“Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and malign. But stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of the people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.” – Chimamanda Adichie (Nigerian novelist) There is a burgeoning approach to clients seeking medical care…

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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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