My experience of life is that it is a path, a journey in meaning and purpose, even if that isn't always apparent. I have been a psychotherapist for more than thirty years, listening to people's stories, accompanying them on their paths. I have trained and supervised psychotherapists for over fifteen years, and I continue my own journey of learning, developing and becoming. All of these experiences have shown me, repeatedly and consistently, that life presents us with precisely the challenges we need in order to learn, grow, and move towards our original nature. Because of this, it is best to meet life's challenges with humility and receptivity, openness and truthfulness, love and acceptance.
Life's challenges and difficulties are the hurdles on the journey of becoming oneself, of freeing oneself from social conditioning, and of re-connecting to the natural order and pattern of life. We can develop by facing what life presents us with, by recognising our problems as our responsibility, and seeing them for what they are: opportunities to learn and grow. If such challenges are faced patiently, with compassionate curiosity, there is no end to how far they can take us.
Depth psychotherapy necessarily addresses social conditioning or programming. Often unconscious at the beginning of therapy, social conditioning undermines a person's relationship with their own nature and with life itself. As a person is gradually liberated from such programming, they begin to return to their original being, and thus to a loving, fulfilling, accepting, and meaningful relationship with life, with others, and with themselves. The process is one of coming into harmony with your original nature, and with life itself.
Successful psychotherapy depends on the quality of relationship between the psychotherapist, the person coming to see them, and the unfolding pattern of that person's life. It is the quality of these relationships that is healing. And for healing to be whole, it is not only the psyche that needs to be addressed, but also the body and spirit, so healthy disciplines around diet, physical & spiritual practices, and interactions with the world are a corollary to successful therapy. These disciplines bring about an inner stability, and stability leads to wisdom.
What is the purpose of a human life? My position is that it is to come to manifest our original nature. This necessitates a re-connection to the natural order of things, which in turn facilitates a way of being in the world that will necessarily be meaningful and fulfilling. This, in turn, brings about a deep and robust experience of well-being and contentment. To get there requires hard work and discipline, but the journey itself is also intimate, rewarding and affirming. As Sigmund Freud said, people who go into psychotherapy are the true heroes of our society.
Life presents us with the challenges we must face in order to win ourselves back, and my work is to accompany people on this extraordinarily rewarding journey. I have devoted myself to establishing in my psychotherapy practice a place that is a spiritual home for people, a place where they can be met on many levels, a place where they can explore, take risks, and learn.
From the forward by C. G. Jung to the Richard Wilhelm translation of the ancient Chinese classic I Ching - The Book of Changes.
Richard Wilhelm was in a remote Chinese village which was suffering a most unusually prolonged drought. Everything had been done to put an end to it, and every kind of prayer and charm had been used, but all to no avail. So the elders of the village told Wilhelm that the only thing to do was to send for a rainmaker from a distance. This interested Wilhelm enormously and he was careful to be present when the rainmaker arrived. He came in a covered cart, a small wizened old man. He got out of the cart, sniffed the air in distaste, then asked for a cottage on the outskirts of the village. He made the condition that no-one should disturb him and that his food should be put down outside the door. Nothing was heard of him for three days, then everyone woke up to a downpour of rain. It even snowed, which was unknown at that time of year.
Wilhelm was greatly impressed and sought out the rainmaker, who had now come out of his seclusion. Wilhelm asked him in wonder; "So you can make it rain?" The old man scoffed at the very idea and said of course he could not. "But there was the most persistent drought until you came", Wilhelm retorted, "and then within three days - it rains?"
"Ah", replied the old man, "that was something quite different: You see I came from a region where everything is in order, it rains when it should and it is fine when that is needed, and the people here, they were all out of Tao and of themselves. I was at once infected when I arrived, so I had to be quite alone until I was once more in Tao and then naturally it rained".