Monday, 30 May 2011

I'm featured in the Spring Edition of "Kidaround"

... Kidaround is a magazine produced for Essex parents. I am happy to have been featured in their "wellbeing" section. In a short piece, I say a little about working with couples who are also parents.


Sunday, 29 May 2011

A 'new' form of therapy

In Scotland, mental health patients are being offered a new kind of therapy.... fishing.

I love this idea! I strongly believe that re-connecting with nature is a great way of nurturing ourselves and maintaining a good mental balance.


Monday, 23 May 2011

Superinjunctions - is privacy possible in the digital age?

Amid all the hoo-ha about superinjunctions here in the UK, I am quietly cheering at the twitterers and other social media who have 'outed' Ryan Giggs et al.
It seems to me that these legal instruments are only used by those with enough money to afford them. The rest of us, sadly, have to protect our reputations the old-fashioned way..... by, well, trying to be good people, and when we aren't, admitting to it.

Those who find themselves in the media spotlight are now subject to scrutiny like never before. Things can slip out of control so quickly, too - it almost seems like one's privacy can be entirely lost in 24hours. And of course, since Google and others have a policy of caching pages, the history sticks around for quite some time.

I remember a colleague some time ago talking about the value of shame - the idea that shame can actually be a positive thing, because it at least helps to prevent us from engaging in anti-social or criminal acts.

Clearly, though, shame is a tough feeling to endure - hence some of the huge sums spent by some in obtaining these injunctions. All to defend against shame.


Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Stephen Hawking tells Google 'philosophy is dead'

Cosmologist Stephen Hawking recently advised us that if we have faith in a God, or believe in heaven, then we are using a "fairy tale" to defend us from our "fear of the dark".

Now he's declared that philosophy is dead. Apparently, the world of science has advanced so much, it's left the art of philosophy behind. “Most of us don't worry about these questions most of the time. But almost all of us must sometimes wonder: Why are we here? Where do we come from? Traditionally, these are questions for philosophy, but philosophy is dead,” he said. “Philosophers have not kept up with modern developments in science. Particularly physics.”

My worry is this - if philosophy is dead, who's going to protect the scientists from their own narcissism?

Philosophy and its related disciplines offer an essential counterbalance to the modernist paradigm, which assumes that we can (and should) know everything - and that science has all the answers. I'm not at all convinced it does.


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Osama Bin Laden is killed - but will the nightmares go away?

The killing of Osama Bin Laden has been met with some triumphal and patriotic celebrations in the US, which I admit I find a bit bemusing. Here in the UK, some writers are commenting on this reaction, asking "what happened to being magnanimous in your successes?".

An area of interest for me over the years, especially since 9/11, is the way our politicians have encouraged us to think about terrorists, enemies, and the threat posed by them. The "Power of Nightmares" documentary produced by the BBC explained eloquently how, when politicians claim they can protect us against terror/invasion/the bogeyman, it shores up their authority over us. We, the frightened children, are made to feel protected by the powerful, aggressive leaders (Bush & Blair in particular)... whose narcissistic supply is also boosted as part of the deal.

Now that the big bogeyman Osama is dead, what will become of this symbiosis? You'll notice that we still have enemies to fear and fight (these days they are called 'insurgents' or something similar), but they have much less potency as a threat to us on home soil.
So how, in the post-9/11, post-Bin-Laden world, will our politicians shore up their authority? It will be interesting to see what unfolds...