Sunday, November 28, 2010

Going Nowhere Faster and Efficiently

I went for a long, long walk yesterday afternoon down a street I had only visited on a bus.  Because of the nature of this area of Changzhou, I wanted to capture the authenticity of an older China before it disappears.  China is good at reconstructing it's architectural heritage, but in the reconstruction, it invents a more nostalgic image, one that has no mess, no real vitality.  This is real life.

I am retired and in my sixties.  With a pension in hand, I don't have many needs that require that I work anymore.  Still,I have been flirting with the idea of returning to the world of being a psychotherapist thinking that there may be a fair number of years left in my life in which I might be of use to both myself and others.  Such thoughts are difficult to resolve for me.  On one hand, I see the "worth" of the work.  On the other hand, I must admit that I travel too much to be of much use to anyone who actually needs to work with a guide.  What kind of guide would disappear for three to five months of winter, or inversely disappear for six to seven months of spring and summer?  What kind of psychotherapist would it make me to be a part-time, seasonal psychotherapist?
"Much modern psychology is hardly worth the name, for it is not, as the etymology demands, a mode for the expression of "soul" (Greek psyche).  Most modern psychology fractionates the person into behaviors, cognitions and neurology, treated in tun by modification, reprogramming and pharmacology.  While these modalities can prove useful in specific situations, the larger question of meaning is frequently discarded in a failure of professional nerve and/or surrender to mass marketing.  When the soul is not attended, what kind of healing can occur?  Why should we go faster to some place, or learn more about some thing, when we have no idea who we are, or what values those bytes of information serve? (Hollis, Mythologems, p.14)
I'm not ready to make a decision and so I will respect that fact.  I have learned to hold the tension and see what emerges rather than rush off.  Perhaps there is an answer that would allow me to stay warm in the sunshine of both Canada and Central America or some other place that is not on my radar.  I have to attend to my own soul and needs if I am ever to again be of use as guide for others.


  1. On the contrary, I think leaving the patient can give them air, and space and trial flight time...They become less "dependent" upon the therapist and more interdependent. Why not experiment with a couple patient on a long distance counseling relationship and see?

    You are very good at what you do...

  2. LOL! I was one of the first members of the Mental Health Online group a number of years ago and had a parallel practice along side my face-to-face practice. I didn't combine the two with the same clients because the reason for distance counselling precluded the possibility of f2f counselling. Perhaps I was ready to not counsel and I am dithering on a return to my practice.