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Its obvious really
December 23, 2013

I am back to Olivia Fane this week. For those new to this newsletter, Olivia has written a wonderful book where she comments on anything that takes her fancy – and uses her wisdom and experience, accumulated over her life to say something interesting. I like that idea and I suppose in my own way that is what this newsletter is about. Anyway after opening the book at random some weeks ago (which is what I do), I came across the topic of therapy. And all of a sudden I became quite scared. What if Olivia would say something I really did not agree with or even worse what if she fed every prejudice that I hold dear about the topic? And so I held off reading this conversation until now.

This is her basic point. She is very sceptical about the benefit of therapy – by which she means the once fashionable (and perhaps even still fashionable) writers such as Freud, Jung and Rogers from which therapeutic models and schools have arisen. In her words, “philosophy always trumps psychology”.

And then she says this “ I have always held a core belief that human beings flourish where there is intimacy, honesty, kindness, friendship. Psychologies that promote these values I trust – but you don’t need a degree to know these things, they are there for everyone to see.” Or to put it this way (which I read somewhere and noted down) “we all need something to do, someone to love and something to hope for.”

Amen to that.

Which is why Human Givens seems so obvious to me and why I have always seen what I do as more akin to a plumber than a profoundly knowledgeable professional and who therefore should be listened to at all times. I shouldn’t have worried – Olivia is agreeing with me. Does that make us both worth listening to?

Inspired by Olivia Fane’s “The Conversation no 57” – on therapy

best wishes

Andrew Richardson
94 Malford Grove, London E18 2DQ

Direct Line: 0208 257 0429 Mobile: 07870 104651 Skype: famrichhg

I have been pondering the nature of human needs recently and don’t believe the Human Givens formulation is as good as it could be. If you are interested in my Needs Pagoda, then click here

For those of you who have followed my 12 signs of emotional health, there is a new page on my website that summarises each of the twelve comments - click here. You can also download the pdf file from that page in the right hand column.

Feelbetter Counselling East London website

My Depression Help Blog

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