On Tyranny

Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

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33917107Although a short book, this is a very important read.  Timothy Snyder is an American historian who is able to pull together lessons from history on how to recognise and resist dictatorships and facism.  Some reviewers feel that it is essential reading for all Americans.  I disagree.  I think it would be good if people of all nations could read it and learn from it.

Because it is a short book I don’t want to rob the author of his thunder by outlining all the content.  However, just to give you a flavour of what it contains, I will summarise the chapter that had most resonance for me – Chapter 10 Believe in Truth.

Synder states that submission to tyranny happens when you renounce the difference between what you hear and see and what is actually the case.  He then goes on to outline four ways in which truth has died in various societies, and how it is dying in America as you read this.

Continue reading “On Tyranny”

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”

11 Sure Ways to Beat Procrastination

“No one ‘builds a house,” Tim Urban writes. “They lay one brick again and again and the end result is a house. Procrastinators are great visionaries — they love to fantasize about the beautiful mansion they will one day have built — but what they need to be are gritty construction workers, who methodically lay one brick after the other, day after day, without giving up, until a house is built.”

426799067_55027d4244_zThe lawn sat there accusingly, waiting to be cut.  And it refused to go away or cut itself.  The pile of bills sat there waiting to be paid.  They wouldn’t pay themselves, and certainly didn’t do self-filing.

All procrastination is avoidance. It is a supposed coping strategy to help us face the future.  However, as we know, procrastination can make the future worse rather than better.  The long grass eventually clogged up the lawn mower.  The black bills turned into red demands. Continue reading “11 Sure Ways to Beat Procrastination”