Skip to content

Writings

The New Addiction

A great deal of time and energy is spent focusing on addictions. Alcohol, drugs, gambling and sex are the most discussed topics but there is a more powerful addiction that has arisen over the past 20 years which might even be more destabilising than all of them. The addiction I’m talking about is attention. The rise of the online world has rightly been celebrated for the rapid spread of information, helping build relational communities and engineering all manner of creative and charitable collaborations. However one of the negative effects of this online multi-level always-on world is the demands it can… Read More »The New Addiction

The Sniffles

It is disheartening but all too common these days to hear talk of ‘Man-flu.’ You’ll be familiar with the scenario in which a man complains of a sniffle and the surrounding womenfolk all intone that he has ‘man-flu’ and begin berating him for his weakness when the stronger sex battle through daily life despite the loss of limbs, body-fluids and any form of support from men whatsoever. I don’t want to suggest that there is some actual physical element that makes men suffer more from a cold than women but it may be worth considering why men complain the way… Read More »The Sniffles

Outside/Inside

The outsider skulks around the boundary of the group.  Those inside look up but all they can see is the outline of a dark dog in a moonless sky. The outsider envies the aggressive familiarity of those inside – the back slapping, hand-shaking, and determined use of well-worn phrases all seem to indicate a cosy world he can never enter. Those inside feel warmed by the company but harbour secret doubts. They avert their eyes from the outsider as he reminds them of the dread of exclusion. They feel how tenuous their connections are and so cling to them for… Read More »Outside/Inside

The Digital Octopus

The digital octopus leaves none of us alone. In every waking moment is the need to follow, reply, post, share, like and tweet. All of our energy is directed into the endless quest to be constantly connected for it is through connections that we are known and not be to known is to be.. what? Left out? A non-player? It doesn’t bear thinking about it. So we don’t think and quickly rejoin the whirling fizz of communications to keep up with whatever it is we’re supposed to be keeping up with. It seems to me that the uncoordinated forces behind… Read More »The Digital Octopus

Guide to finding a therapist.

Looking for a therapist is a tricky business. Here are ten tips to bear in mind while walking through the minefield to find the right person for you: Look out for these telltale signs –  1. If his or her wall is peppered with qualifications he may have some insecurity issues of his own. Think on. S/he might be trying to overwhelm you with learning rather than being able to reach out to help 2. If some of the certificates are wet or written in crayon s/he may not be the one you are looking for. 3. If his or… Read More »Guide to finding a therapist.

Invasion of the grey blocks

It happened about thirty years ago.  At first there were only a few of these little blocks pulling their host bodies around town. We used to think it amusing to see the faces lit up in blue-grey tones as they wandered thorough the cities. ‘What a strange way to live’ we thought as we chatted away.  But over time more and more faces were infused with the grey-blue. Now we needed these blocks to navigate our lives. Users were pulled through individual pathways regardless of where others were and what they were doing. The grey blocks redefined liberty. They made… Read More »Invasion of the grey blocks

Attention to…

Your attention is now a commodity. This is not a new phenomenon. For example television ratings and advertising are linked. If the right people are watching at the right time then the adverts, sponsorship etc are sold at the price to matches the viewers ability to pay. Newspapers and magazines are also designed to sell audiences to advertisers. Your attention has always been valued but the rise of the online world has changed the way this works. One of the great freedoms enjoyed by the consumer under the old system was that he or she could always switch paper and… Read More »Attention to…

Destroy the Fortress of Solitude!

Superman knew a thing or two about X-ray vision, changing in a phone box and flying around the world to turn back time. But why did he need a fortress of solitude? One argument is that being the only known survivor of his race Clark Kents’s racier alter ego felt the need to be alone with his thoughts. Melancholy comes easily to the man who feels apart from others. But perhaps this feeling of being apart from others is a common sensation for men. Men are three times less likely than women to seek help for mental distress. They are… Read More »Destroy the Fortress of Solitude!

Men and Emotions

While a great deal is written about the changing forms of masculinity and the ways in which men can address the practical challenges of their lives a great deal more needs to be done before men are ready to accept the legitimacy of their feelings and emotions. One of the greatest struggles we experience in therapy is getting men to see how their early years were shaped by the sensations, feelings and responses of those closest to them. A great deal of sense-making goes into rationalizing their experiences rather than realising their lasting impact. One by-product of this intellectual layering… Read More »Men and Emotions

Tour Guide

Imagine yourself in a new town. You have time to spare so you hire a tour guide. You meet at 9 am and he offers you an itinerary – the local museum, the waterfalls, the historic bridges, the castle etc. You turn up at 9 am all ready for the day. All goes according to plan – for the first three minutes. You follow his words and gaze around the charming little museum and then he’s off… First he talks about where the word museum comes from then what museums would be like if they were all under water, then… Read More »Tour Guide