Elephants in the Therapeutic Community

Sometimes, for the private practitioner, it can feel like there are more local therapists than clients.

38830The therapeutic community is trying hard to ignore two elephants sitting in its midst.  Their presence is discomforting.  In more considered moments we know they are there, but, broadly speaking, many of us hope they will go away.

The first elephant can best be described as ‘the glut’.  It used to be claimed that there were more therapists in the UK than members of the armed forces.  Whether it was ever true historically, it is almost certainly true now.  But sometimes, for the private practitioner, it can feel like there are more local therapists than clients. Continue reading “Elephants in the Therapeutic Community”

What Do Women Really Want?

Now both men and women can expect to live at least another 20 years once the children have departed, and more and more women are deciding to leave the relationship and try to get their legitimate needs met elsewhere.

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If you are a female, please try not to get too irritated by the seemingly arrogant presumptions of a male writer. Of course, I don’t really know what women want. However, in my professional practice as a therapist I have worked with lots of couples over the years, and as I wind down for the summer and sup my iced lattes, I have been reflecting on patterns. (I am obviously aware that not all couples are heterosexual, but my observations here relate only to them.) Some men, take note. The things listed below are really important. Even as you sit reading this, device in one hand and beer in the other, their presence or absence is strengthening or corroding your relationship.  Continue reading “What Do Women Really Want?”

Post Brexit Grief Is Normal

In effect, people are saying: “I am shocked. My foundations are no longer secure. You have done this too me. My evolutionary fight/flight emotions have been roused to tackle the sudden perceived threat. And I am going to attack, attack, attack!”

A Psychotherapist Visits Some Responses to the UK EU Referendum Result

FullSizeRenderIt is early days yet, but in the brief time that has elapsed since the referendum decision for Britain to leave the EU, I have been struck by the intense emotional outpouring from many people about that decision.

Most of the emotion appears to have come from those who lost. There may be several reasons for that. Given the vitriol of the campaign, the winners may be striving to be magnanimous in silence, or they are just stunned at what has happened. If it is true that many of the winners were older, disaffected, and predominantly disadvantaged, their voices are perhaps disproportionately under-represented on TV and social media. Or perhaps it is just that the pain of loss is felt more deeply than the sweetness of joy.

As a jobbing psychotherapist I deal with the pain of loss on a daily basis and work with clients who are struggling to come to terms with the emotional tsunami that had hit them. Of course, there is no one template that fits all loss experiences, no neat stages that have to be followed, and certainly no quick fixes. However, there are common experiences that many people experience in their grief. And it is possible to see some of these grief experiences in the responses to Brexit by those who lost in the referendum. Continue reading “Post Brexit Grief Is Normal”