My psychology writing was born out of a deep dissatisfaction with the increasingly manualised profit-and-outcome driven direction that counselling and psychotherapy has taken. The colleges of psychotherapy are deep in their own shadow. They are unable, or unwilling, to see that good therapy needs to be in the world, and of it. Therapy today is neutered and debeaked by petty control mechanisms.
When I first started to read the work of James Hillman, it was as if a door to a beautiful garden had suddenly opened. Here was a man of great learning and perspicacity who put a voice to all my inchoate feelings. He understood the true evil of systems thinking and how such thinking has subtly permeated our existence until we cannot breathe. My antagonism towards systems is not Libertarian; it is not a narcissistic rejection of rules. Rather it stems from a deep dislike of anything that prevents humans from being animals. An animal chooses what to eat and where to live, and only human agency or natural catastrophe can interfere with that. Humans have accepted too many restrictions in the name of safety. Now we take any opportunity to restrict and control others in unconscious revenge.
When the market threatened the freedom of twentieth century art through commodification, artists responded with abstract expressionism. The market engulfed that too. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that levels of depression and suicide are at epidemic levels. But the WHO talks of depression as a disease, rather than a symptom of this deathly culture.
My psychology writing challenges and confronts systems thinking. My ideas may not be the right ones, but if they can influence anyone at all to stop, turn around and walk back against the inexorable tide of malign idiocy, then the work will have been worthwhile.
I hope you find this psychology writing challenging but useful. I have also written many pieces about nature, politics, places and music. There’s poetry too. Psychology runs through them all.