The more I familiarise myself with the various tools and techniques of different psychotherapies, the more I get the impression that these tools serve a calming function for the therapists as much as for the patients. It's scary, and anxiety-provoking, being the person allocated responsibility for reducing someone's emotional and psychological distress. As all clinicians … Continue reading Whose tools for anxiety?
I’ll begin this post with some quotes taken quite haphazardly from the dissertation so that you can hear the points in Susan Notess’s own words (& hopefully tickle your fancy so that you read the rest of it yourself!), and brief thoughts triggered by them, and then I’ll expand with broader reflections on the dissertation’s argument… … Continue reading Thoughts while reading Susan Notess’s ‘Listening and Normative Entanglement: A Pragmatic Foundation for Conversational Ethics’
In his 2019 paper, 'Ontological Psychoanalysis or "What do you want to be when you grow up?"', Thomas Ogden describes two dimensions of psychoanalysis: epistemological psychoanalysis and ontological analysis. He is careful to point out that these dimensions frequently overlap, and neither ever exists in pure form, but that they do nevertheless involve quite different … Continue reading ‘Ontological Psychoanalysis or What do you want to be when you grow up?’ by Thomas Ogden (2019)
In his paper ‘Managing distress over time in psychotherapy: guiding the client in and through intense emotional work,’ Peter Muntigl (2020) explores how difficult it can be to respond well to clients’ disclosures of distress in therapy, but he focuses on the distress as experienced by the client, rather than what reactions this might provoke … Continue reading Listening to Distress
For anyone wanting to understand how psychoanalytic psychotherapy works from within the consulting room, this book is brilliant. Whilst telling the intimate and detailed stories of work with her patients (who have all consented to her doing so, of course), Dr Luepnitz also draws on and elucidates complex psychoanalytic concepts from Winnicott, Freud, and Lacan, … Continue reading Schopenhauer’s Porcupines – by Deborah Anna Luepnitz
Do you know what your goals are? And if so, are you certain that if you achieved them you would be happier, or more satisfied, than you are now? I think many of us might answer negatively to at least one of those questions, and I'm surprised that CBT thinks that most of us know … Continue reading Working towards what?
Though working in IAPT, a CBT-dominant mental health service, if you have read any of my posts before you'll know that my temperament aligns far more naturally with the dynamic, interpersonal and exploratory therapeutic modalities. This means I often find myself in unpleasant moral dilemmas where I worry that I am short-changing my clients … Continue reading Brief Interpersonal Dynamic Therapy
Something I've been struggling with in my Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner training and clinical work so far is that we are told that the 'therapy is in the materials' rather than in ourselves as clinicians. Our role is to guide our clients through self-help material that is appropriate to their psychological distress, and help them to … Continue reading Avoiding Advice
This book is divided into two parts. The first part is an autobiographical account of Viktor Frankl’s time in concentration camps during the second World War, and the second part is a more academic exposition of the type of psychotherapy that he created, Logotherapy. He begins the book with an admission that ‘This book does … Continue reading Book Review: ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor Frankl
This book is filled with wisdom, and I think it would be helpful for any mental health professional working with adolescents (regardless of their preferred brand of therapeutic approach) so I’ll attempt to summarise its main points: The Freudian psychoanalysts were wrong to treat adolescence as primarily a return to infantile id drives/impulses (only with … Continue reading Book Review: ‘The Adolescent Psyche’ by Richard Frankel