Mindfulness, dreams and nightmares: integration of the psyche, and trauma.

‘whatever the name of catastrophe, it is never the opposite of love.’ (Mary Oliver)   The effect of engaging with dreams and nightmares can be to bring together parts of the psyche which have hitherto been unbalanced, fragmented and misunderstood. From the beginning of psychotherapy dreams have been considered, in Freud’s phrase, the ‘royal road’…

Withdrawing projections, ripping the veils, the gift of broken trust.

  The experience of withdrawing projections and rebalancing in the truth can be an immensely painful one. It is essential to the project of becoming more whole that we accomplish this task however, that we allow ourselves to see what is really the truth in our life in all its disappointment and with all its…

Relationships that kill…how to survive

Finding the balance between self sufficiency and inter-dependence is one of the major tasks of competent adulthood. Sophisticated living requires that we know when we need to depend on others, when we need to draw ourselves in to community, and to allow the strengths of others to carry us through in the areas that we…

Being imperfect….being enough….

Today’s post is offered as a salve for those who suffer the agonies of not being perfect. We long so much to get it right and most of the time we are imperfect. Actually imperfect is all we ever have to be, and adopting a kind and self-compassionate approach to our ordinariness is the only…

How therapists help clients change…new pathways….

When you take an action, a neural pathway is created which allows that action to be taken more easily next time. This is the ‘learning to ride a bike’ thing. You can’t ride a bike, then suddenly you can, and you don’t forget again. My father learned to swim at the age of 70. Throughout…

Ode to Autumn. Keats. Landscapes of imagination.

Beautiful poetry for a beautiful time of year. Thank you to John Keats for his eye which could see this and his vision which led him to write it down. One of the things I have always loved about this poem is the personification of autumn – it brings the sense of the imaginal world…

Omnipollent nature – beauty in the ordinary

Just in case you wanted another miracle (and the The upward pointing icicle and other miracles was always a popular post on this blog) here we have a bee with blue knees. The pollen she is collecting comes from one of these lace cap hydrangeas. But the whole blue suede knees thing is to be encouraged I…

Overcoming trauma – a transpersonal roadmap

Here are four easy principles for working with complex trauma – your own and your clients’ traumas. If you follow these principles you will not go far wrong. This is based on the work of Bessel van de Kolk, and David Emerson. The reason I have posted this is to begin to address the growing…

Rigidity and fracture – be a willow tree…

When structures harden, and crash in to other hard structures, they fracture, fragment, and break. Rocks,  tectonic-plated continents, religious systems, political ideas, and of course, hearts. The hardening of our ideological positions holds the danger of rendering us brittle, subject to cracking up down the fault line of our weakness. What might once have been a powerful,…

Dignity, the antidote to terror.

Dignity, endurance, calm, peacefulness, establishment and maintenance of strong boundaries. Commitment to order, sustaining and preserving balance, exercise of compassion, mercy and care in our dealings with one another. Defence of values of tolerance, defence of the rule of law, defence of the freedom of your heart to flourish and express your knowing fully and…

Confounding Perception – use of collage for transpersonal psychotherapy

Any good definition of transpersonal psychotherapy includes something about how we can consolidate, ground, and embody moments of transpersonal knowing.  Over time, these moments can begin to come together in to a coherent pattern, a change of heart which opens new vistas of awareness and understanding for the person. Transpersonal approaches to psychotherapy seek to…

Darkness

There is an empty, hard, cold, chilled and chilling place in the psyche. It is a prison, a place of suspended and interrupted life, isolation, and despair. In that hellish room nothing beautiful seems to live. It is a place of thirst. A place of confinement, restriction, and hardness. We all know it – hate…