The Reduction of Being: relating to others as objects

Martin Buber described the mindset required to relate to other beings as objects as the I-It way of relating.  When we relate to other beings as things instead of beings then we view them as objects of utility; assessing their usefulness to us in meeting our needs, rather than honouring them as fellow beings in…

Reactive Abuse: kicking the dog

“For the devil has no power . . . except in the dark.” ― Cassandra Clare, City of Bones Beyond the Stereotype We’re accustomed to thinking of abuse as something that we can see with our eyes and show to other people.  The abuser raises a fist, can be heard through a wall, leaves a…

Destructive Envy and the Hungry Family

envy a feeling of discontent or covetousness of another’s advantages, possessions, or attainments; desire for something possessed by another: I envy her talent for decorating. Not to be confused with: jealousy – jealous resentment against a person enjoying success or advantage; anger or fear of losing something or someone to a rival http://www.thefreedictionary.com Far from…

Affirmation

Affirmation Affirmation is a fundamental need we all share and is a source of identity stability and what we call ‘self-esteem’. It is the felt recognition of myself as the being that I am. And recognition of the other, as the being he or she is. It is like saying ‘I see you, I accept…

Mindset: Entitlement, Empowerment and Cooperation

Three discreet, contrasting mindsets evident within psychotherapy and society are entitlement, empowerment and cooperation.  Taking a compassionate, non-judgmental approach, it is worth clarifying each of these mindsets and their implicit values and their relevance to psychotherapy work in the interests of helping patients appreciate and enhance their contribution to the therapeutic relationship with the overall…

We Are Affected by the World

“A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke.” ―…

This resources page contains free information for people in need

As a psychotherapist who has travelled his own path in search of personal meaning, of suffering and distress, this resource page is a collection of non-commercial, free information that I offer as a means of helping you find the help you need; to better understand your difficulties, and hopefully in some small way gain perspective…

Mindset: Ambivalence in Psychotherapy

ambivalence 1. simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (such as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action 2. a. continual fluctuation (as between one thing and its opposite) b.uncertainty as to which approach to follow Merriam-Webster   Ambivalence – the urge to go in two directions at once; to stay and to go;…

Psychiatric Diagnosis Part 1: a guide and caution for the weary

This post seeks to give an overview of how upsetting or distressing human experiences can be viewed and categorised as illness, disease, defect, disorder or dysfunction requiring the special expertise of specific treatments, therapies, interventions and pharmaceuticals for effective ‘cure’.  It is not my intention to devalue the choices exercised by patients who elect this…

Mental Distress and Suicide

Statistically, suicide is the highest cause of death in men between age 20 and 49.  This is not to diminish the female suicide rate, merely to present statistics.  And the suicide statistics are shocking, with greater numbers of men taking their own lives than are killed in road accidents, or by cancer and coronary heart…

Considering Starting Psychotherapy or Counselling?

“Everything depends on inner change; when this has taken place, then, and only then does the world change.” Martin Buber Facts Here are some brief facts about Psychotherapy and Counselling: You don’t need to have anything ‘wrong’ with you to benefit from psychotherapy A psychiatric diagnosis is not required to understand, work with or overcome…

Mental Health Feedback: help me help you

In a continual effort to expand my understanding of the needs of people who need help, I wanted to invite people to tell me something about their experiences of seeking help or being helped.  Your comments are valuable in developing my own psychotherapy and personal development practice and understanding as a person, and if you…

Dissociative Identity Disorder

Still Like A House Fractured?  No, curiously I feel fractured but I see myself in the mirror and I’m whole, standing still like a house.  The mirror may be fractured, but my eyes still swivel like windows in this head, guided by a nose that acts as a weather vane.  I open and close my…

Ways of passing the time

Indifference Here I am and there you are.  And there’s the clock on the wall.  I pretend I don’t want anything from you.  You pretend you don’t want anything from me.  Our pretending binds us like a form of artificial intimacy.  And keeps us hungry, a million miles apart. Conversation I pretend I’m listening to…

Recovering your self in 7 days

Hollowday There’s a hollow in me; an absence.  Like a piece of furniture missing from a room I haven’t been in for years.  I enter knowing something’s changed and I can’t say what.  There’s just the feeling.  Hollow. Dumbday I feel dirty on the inside.  I scrub the outside; wet hair, towel and soap, and…

PTSD, cPTSD, and Dissociative Experiences

I wanted to write something about the relationship some of us have to traumatic experiences from our past.  It seems important that I write this from an intuitive, non-technical place.  For me, this is because intution – as opposed to fear – is what we need to develop regarding our power to manage our way…

On choosing a psychotherapist

When choosing the right psychotherapist it’s important to remember some basic facts about psychotherapy if you want it to work for you: Psychotherapy is founded upon a trustworthy, secure relationship.  The best evidence from the longest-term study supporting psychotherapy’s effectiveness in helping people make changes in their lives says that the quality of the therapeutic…

CBT: a low-cost ‘cure’ for psychiatric ‘Illness’?

“The fact remains that the construct of psychiatric diagnosis and the construct of a psychological model aligning itself to it are both divorced from the actual, more complex and individuated realities of the particular patient and the individual practitioner. The technocratic relationship of the first denies the non-mechanistic, much more complex organic nature of the…

Healing Minds: what works for you?

Often we are so socialised into looking to ‘professionals’ for their expertise that we forget that, prior to the boom in professions, we did a pretty good job of taking care of ourselves and one another.  Family, neighbours, community, aunts and uncles, grandparents: all of these community bonds have been eroded by massive shifts in…

Change Your World: Self-healing and Loving Kindness

“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau My strong personal belief is that it is in human nature to take care of other living things as a feature of our conscience.  Sadly, many people are out of touch with this facility in themselves.  I think if our culture retained the…

Narcissistic Abuse Part 1: heart of darkness

This post is not intended as a guide for diagnosing or labelling individuals, but instead highlights the detrimental effects narcissistic individuals (including sociopathic, psychopathic and other exploitative personalities) can have upon us.  Being able to recognise some of these effects can help us protect ourselves and seek effective help in recovering from the toxic relationships…

The Outsider Part 1: clarifying our place in society

If there’s one area of my work that I have a special interest in it’s working with people who feel like they don’t fit in or who find themselves rejected by the group. I wanted to start writing a series of posts on this subject because of the confusion and assumptions that we typically make…

Life Coaching

I offer a Life Coaching service which supports people in achieving their personal development aims.  Life Coaching differs from psychotherapy, but shares some areas of crossover.  Essentially Life Coaching is about addressing three main support needs: Guidance, Empowerment and Improvement. The first step in the Life Coaching process is our Introductory meeting, followed by an…

Personal Authenticity Part 1: the courage to stick your neck out

“The most common form of despair is not being who you are.” -Søren Kierkegaard I read Nietzche, Kierkegaard, Sartre, Marcel, Unamuno, Heidegger and a bunch of other guys whilst searching for ‘meaning’ during and after my studies as a psychotherapist.  And whilst they all helped the intellectual journey of finding words to grapple with the…

Self-healing: a shift from pain to compassion in five minutes

Periods of mental distress are often characterised by a hyper-focus on our own struggles to the exclusion of everything else.  In the midst of pain and suffering, loneliness and desperation we can end up so concentrated on the distressing aspects of our lives and on what is missing that we literally forget ourselves and what’s…

Existential Analysis, Integrative Psychotherapy and Other Approaches to Helping

This is a somewhat contentious area for many practitioners because, as with most fields of endeavour, everyone has their own territorial imperatives and personal definitions.  The terms counsellor, therapist and psychotherapist are, for example, often used interchangeably but do not necessarily express the same activities.  So with that disclaimer, here is my simple outline of…

Fees and Payment Alternatives

The normal means of paying for therapy sessions has traditionally been payment in cash at the end of each session.  This is my standard payment method as it is straighforward and time-efficient.  For this reason I don’t accept cheques or credit cards. However, times are changing, and as more people recognise that the central banking…