Reflections

On this page I would like to share with you quotes and reflections that might help you get a better idea of how I envision the therapeutic space and how it might serve you on the road to yourself.

You’re most welcome to read my reflections on intimacy. You will find the short paper here.

“The terms psyche and soul can be used interchangeably, although there is a tendency to escape the ambiguity of the word soul by recourse to the more biological, more modern psychePsyche is used more as a natural concomitant to physical life, perhaps reducible to it. Soul, on the other hand, has metaphysical and romantic overtones.

[…]

The Greek word therapeia refers also to care. The root is dher, which means “carry, support, hold” and is related to dharma, the Sanskrit meaning “habit” and “custom” as “carrier”. The therapist is one who carries and takes care as does a servant (Greek = theraps, therapon). […]  By carrying, by paying careful attention to and devotedly caring for the psyche, the analyst translates into life the meaning of the word psychotherapy. The psychotherapist is literally the attendant of the soul.”

(James Hillman, Suicide and the Soul)

“[…] I believe that the analytic task most fundamentally involves the effort of the ananlytic pair [therapist-client] to help the [client] become human in a fuller sense than he has been able to achieve to this point. This is no abstract, philosophical quest, it is a requirement of the species as basic as the need for food and air. The effort to become human is among the very few things in a person’s life that may over time come to feel more important to him than his personal survival.”

(Thomas Ogden, Reverie and Interpretation)

“The best way I can state this aim of life, as I see it coming to light in my relationship with my clients, is to use the words of Søren Kierkegaard “to be that self which one truly is” […] I am quite aware that this may sound so simple as to be absurd.”

(Carl Rogers, On Becoming a Person)

“[…] no matter how hard you try, you are only human and your mind will remain full of vulnerabilities and rough spots.”

(Daniel Siegel, Mindsight)

“The meaning and purpose of a problem seem to lie not in its solution but in our working at it incessantly.”

(Carl Gustav Jung, The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche)

“My contribution is to ask for a paradox to be accepted and tolerated and respected, and for it not to be resolved.”

[…]

“The work done by the therapist is directed towards bringing the patient from a state of not being able to play into a state of being able to play.”

(Donald W. Winnicott, Playing and Reality)

“As the Greek tragedians noted, it is only through suffering that we come to wisdom. No ego seeks suffering, but in every suffering occasion there is an invitation to growth, if we can bear it.”

(James Hollis, The Eden Project)

“[…] Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.”

(John Keats, Letters to George and Thomas Keats)

“When one is discouraged and certain he will never have the intelligence to find the answer to insoluble riddles, he can remember that although it is the duty of the ego to ask a well-formulated question, he is not required to answer it.”

(Robert Johnson, He)

“The whole psychotherapeutic enterprise is concerned with finding ways of hearing and working with the [inner] speaking that never stops.”

(Michael Eigen, The Psychotic Core)

““I read your book” she says. “I found… I found….[…] You’re just like me, that’s what I thought. Only a little bit ahead. You’ve suffered the same things, you know? […] But you understand it. You have the answers…”

I don’t think of myself as having the answers and I tell her so. “What then?” She challenges me boldly, measuring me, probably not aware how much hope and suspicion are in her gaze.

“The right questions, maybe?”

She relaxes perceptibly, sitting back in the chair, but still on guard, still cautious. But now she is smiling. “That’s it?” she says, mocking herself as much as me. “No cure, no therapy, no answers? Just questions? I came here for more questions?” […]

But this possibility makes us both uneasy. There is no authority in this room, and we can’t evade that. We’re outside the defined, the authorized, the validated. We meet in my study, in the converted basement of my house, to see if we can figure out some way to articulate the questions that have not yet been answered by textbooks or the conventional therapeutic approaches.”

(Kim Chernin, The Hungry Self)

“I doubt if many patients know what they need their analysis for when they start; they discover as they go along. On the other hand they would not embark on it unless they felt the necessity”

(Michael Parsons, The Dove that Returns, the Dove that Vanishes: Paradox and Creativity in Psychoanalysis)

“Sanity is madness put to good use”

(George Santayana, Normal Madness)

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”

(T.H. White, The Once and Future King)

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