• Relationships,  Uncategorized,  What is Therapy

    it is me who learns

    Over more than a year, I have been having conversations from time to time with a deeply committed couple.  The two of them actively engage with each other (and their individual self’s) on an intellectual, emotional and spiritual level.  The last time we met, something about the conversation (that I cannot recall) led me to suggest to them, especially the wife (whom I will refer to as S) who has written a book on her experience of depression, that they read my blog.  Having great respect for their opinion, rather than have them learn something from my blog, I was most interested in their overall feedback.  I am very appreciative…

  • Post-modern Therapy,  Relationships,  Uncategorized

    my fetish

    I must confess of my chief fetish: I cannot resist the impulse to buy books.  The inclination to read them seldom lasts and if it does, I seldom find the time or patience to read them in their entirety, but despite this rational voice in my head, a book with an appealing title will call to me from its crowded space on a book-sale table.  It will lure me with promises to improve my intelligence, make me a better person or at the very least entertain me.  Not to take it home would mean that I was choosing to be less than I could be.  Usually, following a brief struggle…

  • Uncategorized,  What is Therapy

    I, reluctant Freudian

    I, reluctant Freudian Freud, reluctantly postmodern It is part of my post-modern identity to distinguish the kind of therapy that I do from that of more traditional forms, especially psychoanalysis. However, if I am really honest with myself, Freud’s vocabulary is so imbedded in the language of psychology that I might often be using it without even realizing. But, what would make the insights of a single man have such a revolutionary and lasting impact on how we treat and understand ourselves? Reading The Writer’s Voice, by Al Alvarez, – he comments on how writers don’t just hold a mirror up to reality by creating an imitation of life, “they create…

  • Uncategorized,  What is Therapy

    Madness! In me or upon me?

    I have more recently come to respect the idea of mental illness.  It does seem possible that we can become involved and even stuck in lasting patterns of deeply destructive thought, behaviour or realities. It also seems possible that pharmacological support for such difficulty can be helpful.  Furthermore, I must confess that I have even become aware that many people might willingly embrace the illness labels that they are given by professionals.  For instance, understanding relatively destructive and habitual sexual behaviour as a “sexual addiction” might help in gaining some sense of control over it, avoiding the behaviour in future and encouraging support from partners in dealing with the behaviour. …

  • Post-modern Therapy,  Uncategorized

    Not-Eating-Campaigns

    Terms like anorexic are problematic for me.  The term itself is not particularly descriptive of the individual’s experience and seems to give the problem the permission to be there – “If I am an anorexic, then I can behave like one”.  I prefer to consider clients who are involved in not-eating rituals as supporting a “not-eating-campaign” in their lives.  Often this campaign is designed to achieve certain ends.  Such clients tend to have an ambiguous relationship with not eating.  On the one hand, deeply involved and attached to not-eating rituals and on the other hand, tormented by this constant struggle.  The lives of such clients are largely dictated by a…

  • Uncategorized,  What is Therapy

    The Language of Psychology

    I have come to understand that our thinking is influenced (often in ways that we don’t recognise) by certain “cultures of understanding”.  One of these “cultures of understanding” is psychology itself.  In my conversations with people about their problems, I have begun to witness how ‘psychology’ seems to have influenced us into thinking that if we just chastise ourselves enough then we will “get better”.   As an undergrad student, each time I learned a new pathology, with strange excitement I would point out all the traits I had that approached mental illness.  Somehow, pointing out my own pathos to myself became, what I believed to be at the time, a…