For the last three months, I have been studying psychoanalytic approaches to psychotherapy. It’s been interesting, and there are certainly some elements that I can see being useful to some clients. However, there is something about the approach that jars with who I am.

I am pleased, therefore, that for the next three months I’ll be moving on to read more about existential therapy: the kind I eventually plan to practise. I had anticipated enjoying it, but when I started reading this book I had a settling feeling, like coming home. (more…)

I had a double-edged reaction to Minding Spirituality by Randall Lehmann Sorenson when I read it the other day. On the one hand, I am very interested in the interplay between spirituality, meaning, psychology and mental health.

On the other, it sometimes felt like this book tried too hard to be an impressive feat of intellectual prowess, rather than simply commenting on the (very interesting) themes it contained. (more…)

Helplessness by Martin Seligman is a book I read back when I was a teenager, and all I could remember about it was that it had made me angry for a couple of reasons: (1) the animal experiments it described; (2) the way it seemed to be saying “Just stop being depressed! Simple!”

Re-reading it, I enjoyed it more. Partly because I have a better appreciation for reading things I don’t entirely agree with; and partly because (probably for the same reason) I don’t think Teenage Scar gave it enough of a chance. (more…)

As most of you know by now, I’m currently training to be a psychotherapist, because I don’t have enough strings to my bow already. I know I want to practise existential psychotherapy but I’m not yet clear on whether there’s a particular group of clients I’d like to work with. I’ve recently been thinking, however, about working with law enforcement officers, particularly those who are engaged in investigating cases of child exploitation, human trafficking and counter terror. I have the advantage of understanding these industries from the inside, and hopefully with the benefit of psychotherapy training I’ll be able to make a difference to the field by helping people to deal with some of the things they’re seeing.  (more…)

This year’s reading list is mostly things I need to read for the various strands of my life, and this week’s pile was no exception. That’s not to say it’s no fun: these books are things I’d have chosen to read anyway, and sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of direction. This week’s list consisted of one book for uni, and three books that counted as research for the novel I’m writing.  (more…)

This year I have a lot to read, which is exciting. I’m starting uni this week, which I’m sure will bring its own reading list; I’m working on a couple of new papers; I’m writing a novel; and of course there’s the usual TBR pile of things I’ve found that looked interesting.

Last week I read four books, although the first one is cheating a bit; it took me a full two weeks to read because it was a textbook, so although I finished it this week even I am not quite a fast enough reader to manage fitting in a textbook around working full-time.  (more…)