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deep therapy and time: delving into the present moment

On October 2nd covering

One of the great enduring clichés about psychoanalysis and deep psychotherapy is that it’s all about delving deeply into the past. It is true that we’re really interested in the totality of experiences that make a person the person they are, including early development and family relationships.

But a thing that happens when we meet several times a week, as we do in psychoanalysis, is that we get closer and closer to the present moment. What a delicious paradox.

Here’s how it works: when a person comes in for the first time, they have to tell all about who they are and where it hurts, where they’ve come from and want they want. After a while when we’re used to one another, it becomes more about how it’s going this week or today, plus all of the connections we make with their experiences in the past. They might start to find their feelings are not as mysterious, and they might begin to feel better. Read more »


On September 30th covering , , , ,

Since I listen all day to the anxieties of people, I’ve gotten an earful this week. And it’s only Tuesday. The mega-environment is becoming rough and uncertain. Money, especially money for new projects, is expected to be harder to come by, and a lot of things will become difficult.

Doing well in this climate will require psychologically resilient people and organizations — those with the capacity to resist despair, fear, and retreats into fantasy, to keep doing what needs to be done. Flexibility, an unfazed grasp of reality, persistence and patience will serve people well. (Sometimes it will require the flexibility to abandon projects that are checkmated and move on to something else with a minimum of handwringing). Groups that can manage discouragement and anxiety and support one another will do all right. Teams and groups who sink into finger-pointing when times are tough will not make it. Read more »

100-day plan with Group 8020: going fast by going slowly

On September 28th covering ,

I hope this blogging project is of interest to anybody who is concerned, as I am, with processes of change: getting unstuck, finding a new direction, moving from dreaming-about to doing-something-about, overcoming unseen obstacles. So while it’s ostensibly just about my work with Mark Hollander’s 100-day plan, it touches on many universals. The really true things about human nature often have something paradoxical at their core. So here I find myself going quickly because the process required me to slow down at the beginning.

The project has gained a great sense of velocity, which is so interesting because where we started 49 days ago was by stopping a bunch of frantic activity that wasn’t getting me anywhere. For awhile the feeling was that I wasn’t doing enough. Now the experience is of a lot of pieces clicking into place. I wonder how this has come about. Read more »

follow the blog on Twitter

On September 26th covering

You are hereby invited to follow the Twitter feed for this blog, or look for my Twitter handle @workingthrough. This account is just for the blog posts. No minutae of my daily life, I promise.

100 Day plan with group 8020: in the thick of things on day 52

On September 24th covering ,

It’s getting harder to blog the process as it’s started to really cook. Not only am I a lot busier — it’s just harder to describe in fewer than 5000 words.

The process has given me much greater focus and confidence about my consulting projects and aspirations. It’s helped gather up a lot of little piecemeal activities and interests and shown me that it adds up to a coherent whole. Quite a surprise. My mental picture of my big closet of projects was like something out of Wall-E.

But it’s very clear. I’m about a very practical application of deep psychological understanding. I’m interested in people who are at the edge of having to invent their way forward — which bridges music, technology and entrepreneurship. I like helping people remove obstacles to getting what they want, and i appreciate how deeply-set and profound these obstacles can be. I’ve always been interested in the psychology of groups, which is where human perversity can be displayed in all its glory. Read more »