The Chameleon Complex 

Twenty seconds. That is the length of time it takes for a chameleon to change from one appearance to another. A beautiful and awe inspiring feat of natural evolution, seldom seen in its full glory yet commonly cited in everyday analogies. Funnily enough, twenty seconds is about the same time it takes me to wake…

Eye Contact in Psychotherapy

What colour are your therapist’s eyes?  What do her shoes look like? I suspect that more people can answer the latter question than the former. That is because, as clients we are generally bad at initiating or maintaining eye contact. So much so, that as I scoured the world wide web for material on the…

Creating a sanctuary right now, in your mind

You can create a sanctuary inside your mind. Someone taught me this as a child. Back then I needed little encouragement to flex the muscles of my vivid imagination, and it’s something I still do today. Every night, I would look forward to visiting my sanctuary. It wasn’t just a blank empty ‘space’. Nor was…

The Unwanted Client: Therapy and BPD

‘I don’t want to work with borderline PD clients. Because my phone already rings enough.’ I read this statement on a therapist’s blog today. I won’t provide a link, because I don’t want to assume a negative reference to what is a raw and refreshingly honest statement, taken massively out of context from what is…

We share so much, but never touch: physical contact in psychotherapy

The handshake moment. I hesitated, and then decided not to. It feels appropriate to shake hands when you first meet somebody. I’m always shaking hands with people, even in informal settings. It’s a habit formed from working for a charity, managing relationships with a boat load of other handshakers – an array of ‘high net worth’…

Imagining better

I mostly write fiction.  Conversely, this blog is an outlet for the sensible and tangible, the day to day reflections of a ‘real’ life set in the extraordinary complexities of the everyday world. Although, I begin to doubt quite where the veil lies between the two – our real world and our imagined one. When…

Somebunny to love

It’s been a long day, with the hospital and the worrying and… well, the mental breakdown. I’m feeling a little better now, thanks to a good friend. I’m having my first ‘food’ for today at 8pm – a can of beer. And cuddles with the most special man in my life. Here’s my little guy…

Patients are reminded not to die in the corridors

Two hundred minutes. Three hours and twenty. According to the department lead in my local mental health unit, that is the value of my life. If this sounds overly dramatic, that’s because it is. I’m in no fit state to write this post, but here I am – for the time being, very much alive and…

Over-accommodating others (family abuse pt 2)

Yesterday I had a few comments from some absolutely lovely people on my post ‘how should we feel towards abusers in our family?‘. It gave me some food for thought, and after reflecting on my way of dealing with things, I thought I’d follow up with a second post about the over-accommodation of others. In…

How should we feel towards the abusers in our family?

When I was around six or seven years old, my mother thought it would be entertaining to take the discarded fur she’d trimmed from my dog, lay it on the floor in the shape of my beloved pet, and call me into the room with a look of horror on her face – just to…

Why you’re probably not in love with your therapist

Imagine this scenario. You’ve been attending your new therapist’s office for several weeks now. You’ve started to explore your innermost feelings in the company of someone who seems refreshingly patient, kind and non-judgemental. Progress is going swimmingly until a sudden and intense realisation hits you: you’re hopelessly in love with your therapist. Mortified, embarrassed and…