I was reading some Esther Perel this week, and happened upon a quote about self-love that really spoke to me. She describes it as “about letting others love us even when we feel unloveable” and as “about awareness and acceptance of our incompleteness.” I sense it’s natural at times to feel unloveable, and incomplete. We each have foibles, wrinkles and bumps we might prefer not to notice or acknowledge, and yet, when we turn away from them they somehow gain a power and impac
The work of psychotherapy is vast and deep. Themes running through the many ways it can help are enabling clients to learn how to tolerate differences, discomforts, uncertainty, intimacy, power and privileges. All of these matter, they are the stuff of human relating and they affect us all. We have seen some of these themes at the fore in recent times, with the social change that comes with the pandemic, its economic impacts, and the wider context of the climate emergency.
I discovered recently that the root of the word alone is all-one. Clarissa Pinkola Estes expresses this beautifully, saying “To be all one meant to be wholly one, to be in one-ness, either essentially or temporarily. That is precisely the goal of solitude, to be all one.” I sense most of us know this experience, to be wholly in the one place, to feel complete, to come home to who and what we truly are. We may find it looking at a beautiful landscape or a tiny flower, or fin
In my twenties, I recall going on a Dale Carnegie training course, and being told ‘seek first to understand, and then to be understood.’ As an incessant talker at the time, I found it a weird concept, but it was one that resonated with me and I took to heart. Funny perhaps that decades later I find myself working as a psychotherapist, deeply invested in hearing and seeing the other, and leaving my own personal story at the door! “Every person in our life is a unique, unfold
I just love my garden at this time of year. My therapy room looks out onto it, and it is delighting me to notice that sometimes hour to hour I can see how the plants have grown and changed. The garden puts me in mind of the way we are all in a process of continual growth. Even as adults, our bodies are not static and unchanging. On average our cells are replaced every 7-10 years. While the cells in the middle of your eye lenses do last a lifetime, white blood cells may only l
I’ve been reflecting on the continual change and uncertainty that our current environment presents us with, and its impact on well-being. Consistently, just as it seems clarity is emerging about what the next steps are for us socially and economically, new information comes to light, and adjustments need to be made. Plans for businesses, holidays, social events and more are made, cancelled, changed…and we do our best to adapt. It seems to me that it is natural and normal for
I was speaking to a wise colleague recently, and she shared an anecdote which made me smile. She came home one night, with a big bunch of flowers in her arms, along with a bottle of champagne and some chocolates. Her daughter asked ‘Ooo, what is the occasion?’ My colleague replied ‘I had a REALLY bad day!’ I just loved it. How often do we join in when our day doesn’t got to plan? How often do you find yourself getting flat and feeling defeated, and allowing that to impact
I was reminded this week of the important function of self-criticism. You know, that irritating, debilitating voice inside that nit picks and notices everything you don’t do well. Mostly, we think of it as a pain, and we just want it to go away. Trouble is, the more you try and push it away and silence it, the louder it gets. It’s useful to reflect on where the mental habit of self-criticism comes from. When it formed, it was there to help and look after you. When we are