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Archives for August, 2010


Time to Heal: How Long Does Healing (and Brief Therapy) Take?

They say ‘time heals all wounds’. But does it? Or are there other things involved in the healing, too?

If it is time that salves and soothes, how much time does it take to heal?

(And how on earth might a thing like time-limited brief therapy work?)

Perhaps it’s worth just investigating time for a moment. What’s your relationship with time like? Does it evaporate on you, too quickly gone? Are you in a kind of...
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Opening the Window to Your Heart – and What You Might See Through It (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this post, we explored Rumi’s quote about opening the window of your heart, and, once open, what you might see through such a window.

Maybe, in part, that depends on the kind of window you’re dealing with.

Many years ago, I lived in Germany for a while, where the windows are all double-glazed. In the older buildings there are actually two whole windows in each window frame: one opening to...
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Opening the Window to Your Heart – and What You Might See Through It (Part 1)


I was in a bookshop the other day, meandering through the psychology section, when I flipped through some pages and landed on a quote by Rumi (the 13th century poet):
‘Open the window of your heart’
It triggered a thousand questions. And they might be worth investigating together, just to see what they uncover and whether any answers they evoke are useful to you and your emotional life.

For although Rumi probably had some...
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Unwrapping the Cryptic Gifts of Depression

There’s something here in this juxtaposition of billboards. Something almost suggesting that maybe depression can sort of 'be there' for us, maybe even be with us in some strange way, accompanying us in hard times… perhaps even in just the right size and measure.

What if that were true?

It seems a pretty shocking thought. For depression is often cast in a bad light – something simply to be overcome and gotten rid of. A villain...
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Existential Therapy: What Can Death Teach Us About Life?

The footpaths were littered with camellia blossoms this morning, as I walked around the streets. Perfect pink blooms dropped onto the pavement.

I heard a saying, once, about this phenomenon. These flowers, falling mid-bloom from the tree, echoes the way we’ll all fall from the tree of life one day.

Unexpectedly (even when it’s expected).
And often with a sense of ‘too soon.’

So how might we prepare for this?

Are there things that could make it easier when...
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Taming the Tigers of Anxiety

When this street art tiger leaped out of the shadows on a rainy night recently, what struck me was the vast size of its head compared to the thin wood of the chair before it.

The whole scene seemed to echo the suspect circus routines I’d seen in my childhood, where lions and tigers would be ‘tamed’ by a ringmaster wielding a chair. Yet on this night, the chair seemed pretty slim defense in the...
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Reframing: Seeing Your Life From a Different Perspective

As I walked past a junkshop the other day, this big blue box of empty picture frames caught my eye and reminded me of the therapeutic art of ‘reframing’.

Have you been to a professional framer’s lately? It’s quite something to watch your painting or photograph transform before your eyes as different frames and coloured matts are placed around the edges. Just when you thought you knew your artwork, suddenly there are...
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Pointers for a Broken Heart: How to Heal the Emptiness Within

These sandstone statues decorate the outside of a cathedral in Nuremburg, Germany. They’re the seven virgins of something-or-rather (my memory has faded out the details). And, after some crumbling of the facade, one of them is pointing to the place her heart used to be. It’s missing. Broken off. Gone.

And now she stands with an emptiness, a square of pain that’s plainly visible.

Have you ever felt like this before? Where some piece of...
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Who Are You When You’re Not Looking? How to Discover Your Identity

There’s something eerie about this image. For me, it conveys a sense of being doubly locked-in.

And it reminds me of a quote by Rabindranath Tagore, an Indian Poet:
‘The one whom I enclose with my name
is weeping in that dungeon.’
Is it possible that we sometimes unwittingly lock our identities in like this, into static fixed cells? That we cage ourselves and constrict the possibilities of who we might be...
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