Sunday, December 21, 2008

Irish Red Cross

Another shot from my travels to Dublin city centre. I braved the Christmas shopping mania just for a walk and came across this fund raiser for the Irish Red Cross. So I stopped to have a conversation with the volunteers - a group of nice young women. It was worth stepping out on a cold Saturday afternoon, just for this very red, and hence warm, street shot. I have some family affiliations to Red Cross work in Iraq, Afghanistan and other spots and it was nice to see the money being raised for something with which I can readily identify. The cross itself is an extremely old symbol, which shares a common symbolism with the number four. The four cardinal points represent earth and together forms the foundation of all symbols of orientation. The whole of mankind, drawn from the four corners of the earth is represented. But where the two lines intersect there is a fifth point. This is the point of transcendence. This must be the most appropriate symbol for an organisation which must engage with war, but at the same time, remain outside its ambit.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bus Stop Centro PiazzaLodi

I wanted something of Xmas, so so this bus stop in the outskirts of Milan seemed to fit the bill. I confess I photo-shopped the picture to make the reds brighter. Forgive me if it's slightly lurid. That is also for Xmas. So if you're late for getting that last present you can always get on down to Centro PiazzaLodi. Why don't you get the bus? Getting the bus means we have to travel collectively with other people. We don't have much choice about being social in this case. So if you dream about being on a bus it's likely to be about a social relationship. Our personality develops as we come into contact with other people. Naturally our primary family group is first, then school and so on until working life. So if you dream about any difficulty in getting on a bus, you may interpret that accordingly. If you are driving the bus, it could be that it's about taking responsibility for a group of others. Centro PiazzaLodi and its collective await your visit!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nothing better than a Brick

A colleague from work, many years ago, was aways saying to me, "ye canna get better than a brick, man". He was a Geordie from Newcastle and a bricklayer to trade. I can still hear him saying that and he was right of course. Bricks are a gift from the Gods - they signify the start of creation. The first laying down of bricks represents the beginning of a settled life, of towns and cities. Mankind ceases to be nomadic and selects a fixed place to live. We can all recognise these narrow bricks so typical of the Greeks and Romans. This is the garden at Mount Olympus, formerly a port on a river - it's now several kilometers inland. Neatly preserved, it's well worth a visit if you are in Northern Greece. I cannot recall what manner of place this was but it looks like a foundation of some sort. As such it corresponds to the unconscious - the bits about which we are relatively unaware. Yet it may be composed of very good bricks. I remember an old fashioned expression of admiration - "you're a brick!". In other words, "you are solid and reliable.". And Jung talked about the brick that was rejected by the builders. He felt that held great meaning when applied to the psyche, because the bits of our selves that we reject turn out to be the most worthwhile.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ward off the evil eye!

This is a very formal shot and a depth of field exercise that falls to the luckless student. This was taken with an old digital camera and it just didn't accommodate depth of field. The result however was pleasing. I had some luck! The clothes rope contains many hidden properties as it crosses the sky. All ropes are a means to ascend. They often crop up in dreams, so whether the dreamer is climbing or descending a rope, it's all about life. Ancient Central American cultures saw ropes as being semen, falling from the sky and which would fertilise accordingly. Ropes could do many things in wizardry - capture winds, stop accidents and prevent misfortunes. In Sicily, red peppers and garlic heads are strung together and hung at a doors, windows and in the kitchen to ward off the evil eye. I have some in the house, just in case. I think that pegs on a clothes line are of this ilk, possibly representing fastenings that tie down and hence contain evil influences. So for me, this picture is a lucky shot in many ways.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bear and Pirate

Christmas is the time for shopping and in all probability it's toy shops that most fascinate me. I liked the juxtaposition of the teddy bear and the pirate ship. The display has remained the same throughout December and I still stop to have a look. Pirates are popular of course despite the hijacking of super tankers. We like our pirates picaresque. As long as the pirate chief is a jolly and lovable rogue we can forgive him (or her) quite a lot. The bear is also lovable in its teddy form. In reality though, a swipe from the paw of a real bear would lay us low. But bears can be trained to do tricks and are thus tameable. Their love for honey is well known. In legend, curiously, bears have earned the reputation of running off with the womenfolk. So many taboos exist in relation to women and the bear. They should not look at a bear's head, nor step in its tracks. Bears however were companionable with Artemis, the huntress of Greek mythology - and sometimes she would appear in the guise of a bear. Jungian psychoanalysts consider the bear as a symbol of the dangerous part of the unconscious. Maybe then, the curious liaison between bear and pirate is just another of Artemis' dangerous tricks.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Foreign exchange

This image was snatched opposite Trinity College. Clearly the proprietors weren't expecting to lose much money on the trade for Egyptian Pounds - but you never know! The symbolism of money is a bit mixed with debasement and counterfeiting a permanent problem. Celtic societies resisted coinage with ruinous consequences. In Ireland it was only in the 9th and 10th century and under Saxon pressure, that coinage replaced cattle as an exchange mechanism. Early coinage traditionally represented wealth with fineness in the finished appearance of the coin. Although some of the Euro coins are nicely designed, one could hardly say they were "fine". Certainly the five Euro note that went through the wash in the pocket of my jeans was fine no longer!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Whisky and Ice

What's the shot? A strange crystal image which reminds me of the Crystalline Entity in Star Trek. This was taken at the Laphroaig whisky distillery in the beautiful and remote island of Islay. My late Uncle Hugh came from Islay and he liked a dram - so he would have approved of my shot. The ice is lying on the top of a whisky barrel. Here of course there are no prizes for symbolic meaning. Whisky is the water of life - uisge beatha - in all likelihood derived from the Latin "aqua vitae". Water is made from ice, the materia prima. So here we have water transformed into both whisky and into ice - two destinies. We know for certain that in this barrel, the water can only get better! On top, the water has lost its essential quality of liquidity. Yet it is growing. For some theorists, ice represents rigidity. But here, water continues to transform. So I don't necessarily agree with psychologists and poets that ice in dreams signifies death or endings. These crystals have a milkiness that suggests the maternal.

Spot the cat

Another fun shot - it must be getting near Christmas. It's a general rule in photography that no-one wants to see a picture of your pet - or anyone else's for that matter. The only pet of interest is their own. There is always an exception that proves the rule, though. I guess the picture is saying something about camouflage, because it wouldn't be the first time I nearly sat on the cat on its favourite chair. In symbolic terms, not all peoples regard cats favourably. The cat was the only creature to remain unmoved by the death of the Buddha. But strictly speaking this can be seen as a sign of being a higher form!. I am naturally biased since my clan is Clan MacPherson, who's motto is na bean d'on chat gun lamhainn, touch not the cat bot (without) a glove. This message was a warning to other clans. The cat with its claws unsheathed was likely to do a wheen of damage.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Magic eye

This was a fun shot, playing with the camera - at night! It's a little toy and I think I obtained it from the Millenium Dome in its early days. You have to bounce the ball and it lights up. The eye has many symbolic meanings. It's much featured in Egyptian art and the Welsh ilgad y dydd means the "eye of day. But this week, with so much trouble in the news, I wondered whether this was a demonic eye? The evil eye can be used to destroy livestock for example. When the possessor of the evil eye looks longingly at some object or person, it causes injury to what he looks at. "I take refuge in the shadow of God against the harm which the envious can cause when possessed by envy." said the Prophet. We can be comforted though, because there are a variety of things that can help. The horn, the crescent and the hand can defend against it - as well as the horse.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Baggot Street - at night

I set out with the deliberate intention of getting a night shot in Baggott Street in Dublin 4. The technique for this kind of shot is to work at dusk, just when the sky is starting to get darker but with enough remaining light for a successful exposure. I just missed the ideal time but caught a velvety blueness with some cloud detail. Night is always a little mysterious. In their work on symbols, Chevalier and Gheerbrant describe the Greek notion of Night. It moves across the sky, pulled by four black horses and followed by a retinue of maidens - the Fates and the Furies! Night corresponds to the unconscious in the darkness of sleep. a world of dreams and shadows. That bright white light makes a very clear boundary in the shot. So maybe in the picture, the bright burger joint stands in for day, consciousness and awareness.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Reds

I snapped this very quickly with a high ASA that guaranteed something would come out. But just as I pressed the shutter, a woman walked into the frame. But she made the shot work, didn't she? I am very pleased, so thank you, stranger. It looked very light and bright - with all these jolly magazines. And I thought it made a bit of a change from the usual supermarket entrance. You can see from this image how much red is used for magazines. Bright red is the colour of fire and blood. It brings good luck in China and, of course, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the red-suited (but commercially appropriated) Santa Claus! But There are different kinds of red. In his fabulous book, the Phenomenology of Perception, Merleau-Ponty points out that colours like red and green are "sensed". Such a quality isn't strictly part of consciousness. Colours are perceived in a way that is as rich and mysterious as the the object. The magazine reds that shout from the picture wouldn't be sensed in the same as the woolly red of a carpet. We are drawn to the bright reds of flags, posters and publicity material and we interpret them in a different manner from the red warnings of traffic lights, stop signs and darkroom lamps. There is ambivalence in red.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mulligan's Time

In recent blogs I've been talking about time. What does this mean, you may ask. Well, psychotherapists are very careful about time. The client should arrive on time, the client should use the time properly and so on. At the same time .... time is a debatable concept. When I wrote the last blog about duration, I was struck by the fact that on that very evening, several television documentaries about time were screened. Synchronicity prevailed for that period. Time is often symbolised by the wheel and of course most ( but certainly not all) public clocks are circular. There are many such clocks in Dublin. You really don't need a watch - they're everywhere. So what time is it in Sandymount, Dublin? We rather value the idea of being in the present, but according to Bergson, the present creates nothing. Like a set task it carries out the past, but adds nothing to being. This is debatable if indeed time is composed of discontinuous instants. And it would threaten the value of the psychotherapeutic experience which somehow lies between the living, experienced past and the future. In the therapeutic space, for 50 minutes or so, time breaks.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Frozen Leaves

I thought this one was suitable for the season. The leaves that escaped the leaf blowers (no easy task) were caught in a late November frost. Even by mid day it was still freezing - quite unusual for Dublin. A bunch of leaves can represent a group, but here they're frozen. Their natural decay is arrested and for a while they are stiff. But the sun is coming. I saw this as a metaphor for the collective and thought again of Shelley who wrote "If winter comes can spring be far behind." Festive December breaks up the long winter days and at last we have break. Yet that break can be both joyful and stressful. Maybe because we have to stop what we are doing in the working world and spend relatively long periods of time with others. In some ways we have no option. So that's what the picture is about.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I took this photograph on my way back from the psychotherapists' festive lunch. The way everyone was hurrying onto the platform, I thought the train was due - but no! So I sculled around, looking for an image opportunity. The scene reminded me of duration - perceived time. Even ten minutes might seem a long time to wait if there's nothing much to do or see. My hero Gaston Bachelard observed that temporal phenomena must "each be studied according to its appropriate rhythm and from its particular point of view". The psyche isn't linear and its continuity is in doubt. More likely it is based on a plurality of durations, a series of instants like the one represented above. This is recognised in Irish traditon. Some of those who entered the Otherworld - the sid - felt that they had been away only a few days. But when they returned, they had aged hundreds of years and fell dead. Heroes however, felt they had visited for days but had only been gone hours. The feast of Samain marked the beginning of the Celtic year. By ending one and starting the next it belonged to neither. Feasts are intense moments and attempt to escape time - but cannot prolong its duration. How long did I have to wait for the train? Ten minutes. How long did it feel ? Ages. But the duration was bounded. Even though I made my own duration, I couldn't escape time.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Shepherds in the City

It could be that on Kildare Street you might pass the odd shepherd or two, but how would you know? I knew for sure yesterday because some shepherds had brought a small flock with them. It was a bit of a surprise and I tried to get all the sheep in my photograph, which wasn't possible. It's part of a campaign by the Irish Sheep Farmer's - who are feeling the pinch. I really like sheep and the one who is looking at the camera I have named Susan. I fear to report that in Irish mythology, sheep are a bit menacing - diabolical even. Have a look at the story of the siege of Druin Damghaire. I found the shepherds round the corner. Shepherds symbolise mostly watchfulness but in Assyro-Babylonia they are cosmic. In the dark phase of the moon, they conduct souls down to earth. I liked talking to the shepherds but their little flock reminded me of the individual and the collective. The individual that desperately needs to be surrounded by the flock or herd requires reassurance in a primitive way. Human integration is somethings special because we are relational beings. But relating to others isn't always easy and demands development in personality. Some have difficulty in that respect. So what will happen to Susan? I hope she will supply many woolly jumpers. Live long and prosper!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fleur de lis

On the way to the shops I took this shot of the top of a wrought iron fence. The fence surrounds the house of a well known personality associated with the Ireland football team. I'll let you guess! It just looked nice in the sun, framed by the hedge. The exposure I picked gave me a smile. In past times, it was always the tradition to keep the camera set to 1/125th of a second and the aperture at 5.6. Especially for black and white films, this gave the photographer much flexibility. If there was a lightning opportunity with no time to spare, you could point and shoot and always get something from the negative. The design of the wrought iron fence top is also interesting. There are many of course, but this one is the fleur de lis. It's a very early symbol and much used in heraldry. You could find it in many flags. Purity and chastity may be an early meaning - it was associated with the Virgin Mary - but it can also be seen as a more warlike axe head. It's just about possible this may derive from the coat of arms of Lord Pembroke, within who's estate it can be found.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pile of Stones

Had to get right down on the pavement for this one. Sore on the knees! Construction work seems perpetual in our neighbourhood. No sooner is one building finished than another starts. I guess this pile of bricks is destined for some part of a building but I think it's likely to be a wall, since many of the original 19th century walls have been demolished. I couldn't decide whether these were stone bricks, which have been dressed - or aggregate bricks. I'm going to stick with stones! One of my friends is very attached to the philosopher, St Hildegard of Bingen. Hildegard describes the stone as having three incompatible properties. Moisture prevents its dissolution or decomposition. Because it's palpable it may be handled. Finally, its inherent fire makes it hot and harder still. But she is talking of raw stone, a sacred symbol of freedom,. Dressed stone is often a sign of captivity - stone walls and prisons. I was wondering what kind of prisons we are fashioning for ourselves in these times - with incessant construction of houses and apartments. What is the purpose of construction? Houses to sell or homes for people to live in?

Monday, November 24, 2008


Cafés are the thing at the moment! I often ask clients about what they are doing for fun. It's a fundamental principle of Reality Therapy that people have certain needs - survival, power, freedom, love and ... fun! So at some point I will ask a client about what they are doing for fun - for pleasure or enjoyment. You can certainly have fun at the Panorama Café on the front at Howth. It's small and rather intimate, with excellent Italian food and wine. This is Graziano who runs the café with his Australian friend, Fitzy. Together, they will give you a warm welcome. Motorcyclists get a special welcome - you'll find an autographed photo of Casey Stoner on the wall. So if you are in the area, look in. And don't leave without some genuine Italian produce. There's wine, pasta and excellent olive oil that you won't find in the supermarket - all are guaranteed to give you pleasure. Chill out at the Panorama and enjoy. You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sad Café

Another café shot and, as usual, hand-held and available light. I used a high sensitivity (6400 ASA) on the digital camera, which always has a warm look. But it looked so sad, the empty café with only a few customers. I was reminded of the many café paintings which always appear a bit desolate. The cafe is a kind of temporary container - a room that offers temporary respite and limited safety. The image is kind of fuzzy warm, kind of dreamy. So the Eagles sing:
Some of their dreams came true
Some just passed away
And some of them stayed behind
Inside the sad café

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The locked gate

Just continuing from the other day's blog, this is another image of fragility. Nothing is really right about this set up and it wouldn't take much to remove the whole thing and enter the yard behind the gate. It's not even a visual deterrent with its ad hoc mixture of screws and rivets. The main symbol in question is only suggested by the picture - the key is absent, naturally! It's the gate that's interesting - badly maintained with paint peeling, it's about as good a gate as its lock. In any case, alchemists regard the key and the gate as much the same thing. The gate symbolises a passing between the known and the unknown. The gate invites us to pass the threshold into the beyond. It's a bit like psychotherapy, venturing into unknown territory from one state to another. We want to change something about ourselves so we have to push through the gate to reveal more about ourselves.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Red Stripe

It was only after I'd taken this photograph that I realised this building was a bank. I was heading along Baggot Street and the scaffolding looked very colourful in its protective sheathing. I felt that the symbol of a little house with a roof was a bit incongruous given the perilous state that the financial sector got itself into recently. So what drew me take the picture may have been the makeshift fragility of all that protection. The image of the little house is more of a "hut" like the Pizza Hut sign. But the hut itself is a temporary thing. Rather than protection it offers weakness and instability. We would like to believe that a bank is completely safe. But in life, there is no such thing as "completely safe".

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pronto Soccorso

Recently I had to go to hospital in rather a hurry! On my safe return, I remembered this photograph from earlier in the year. I was at the CTO in Turin - that's the Centro Traumatologico Ospedaliero . The hospital deals with burns and bone injuries and conditions. It's housed in a big sixties block and not very beautiful - but if you need help it's the place to be. And because it's near the Alps, it's the first port of call for an injured skier! Its very important to me that down on the ground floor it has one of the best cafes you'll ever find! You can sit in the cafe and watch the many customer-patients wearing all manner of braces, cages and wire supports queuing for an espresso and a great sandwich. I leaned out of a window on the sixth floor to get this picture of the emergency helicopter. The staff seemed to make a nice pattern in the sunshine. If you go to YouTube you can watch a similar copter take off from the same spot. Good health everyone! Take care of these bones!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

You need hands

Earlier I was saying that it's a good idea to look around rather than looking down as we do when we're worried. But there is always an exception. I might have missed the imprint on the pavement if it wasn't very local. I've been stepping over this for around a decade. I guess the person who saw the opportunity to make a mark in wet cement looks at it slightly differently, maybe as an indelible personal mark like the autographs immortalised in the legendary cement of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. For me, it was some kind of attempt to confront the destructive power of time. Yet the hands also take possession like the Red Hand in the Ulster arms. In psychoanalysis the hand is invariably compared with the eye in that it "sees". And by expressing our thoughts in writing we talk through our hands. But ultimately the concept that links all these aspects is that of action. So I can't help wondering what the person did with his hands when he had finished making the mark!

Friday, October 31, 2008


I couldn't resist this photo on the way to the shops. No-one likes being clamped. But you can ring up the parking agency and operatives will come and - for a fee - release you. A friend asked if this was a little like going to a psychotherapist. Don't people feel clamped as if they can't move? It is true that often clients feel "stuck". I pointed out that it was a little like phoning for the parking operative but when he or she gets there, you have to do the work too! Psychotherapist and client are "in coalition". For a while, they agree to work together. Client and therapist work through issues, feelings and so on so that the client is able to move forward.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Boot in the Sand

On Dublin's north coast, a piece of land is dedicated to a nature reserve. I called in on the way back from Howth and found a bit of beach where cars can park. It was quite deserted, but I caught sight of an almost perfect heel print in the sand. I tried to make one like it - but this boot is fairly industrial! Boots, shoes, beaches and sand appear quite often in dreams, but interpretation isn't so easy. The dreamer may have many personal associations to all of these. With boots and shoes Freud argues for phallic symbols. On the other hand, I think the shoe makes a mark on the territory so there is something possessive about the boot print. Perhaps it represents "being grounded". Yet this print has certainly been washed away by now! Sand takes up the shape of the objects that rest in it and however transitory it may be, there's an aspect of regression in the boot print, a seeking for the womb. The print was very much on its own, so someone dug in the heel, probably with some pleasure.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Deep Blue

Blue is the deepest colour! This image was snatched at the Science Museum in Kensington. It's hand held, low light and low shutter speed so it's a littler softer than I would have liked. The cafe is called "Deep Blue" and I recall it's relaxed ambience. I couldn't resist the house beer in the deep blue bottle. Blue surroundings are indeed soothing. They somehow take us away from real life. Yet they tend to be unstimulating. The picture was taken in 2005 and I can't help wondering what happened to the people in this image. Maybe because of the blue, they weren't conscious of me at all. Blue is of the unconscious! It was a weekday and there was a feel of people enjoying themselves. I wish them all well.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Water, the unconscious and the Prince of Denmark

This photograph was taken a while ago in the Mount Olympus Park near Thessaloniki in Greece. I still think of Ophelia in Hamlet when I look at the image. Ernest Aeppli in "Dreams and their Interpretation" says that "water is the symbol for that which is unconscious of itself". So maybe Hamlet springs to mind because I think the main character was clueless about himself. It always takes me a while to remember why I took the photograph, So you need to study it for a while. It was the frog that originally took my attention! Could it have been the Prince?.

Monday, October 20, 2008

When the ship comes in

I am from the Clyde and I have a special affinity for boats and ships of all shapes and sizes. A boat can be a symbol of voyaging. If life is a kind of voyage, then the boat can be seen as a place of containment and safety. Pascal thought it was most pleasant to be aboard a storm-tossed vessel in the knowledge that it would not sink! The harbour too, is a safe haven where voyagers can rest with some level of protection. I was passing Dun Laoghaire harbour and noticed the light on the masts. It was the end of a intermittently sunny afternoon and the contrast of light and dark was special. The water looked compellingly silky and the yachts tidy and spruce, but the sky looked like the lull before the storm. Bob Dylan sings ...
"Oh the time will come up
When the winds will stop
And the breeze will cease to be a'breathin'
Like the stillness in the wind
Before the hurricane begins
The hour when the ship comes in "

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Leaves and Symbols

I can't let Autumn pass without a photograph! Leaves stand in common with plants as far as symbolism is concerned. But a group of leaves can stand for a group with a common purpose. Think of Shelley's "pestilent multitudes". I liked the colour combination of this particular group. Everything is changing and that makes me think of "turning over a new leaf". As a psychotherapist, I know that people come to me because they want to change something about their lives. So perhaps this is a good metaphor for transition.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fightin' the Blues

One of my favourite pieces of music is "So much trouble". You can find it on an album called Back Country Blues by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. You might have to look in the back catalogues though! When I felt I was having a lot of trouble in my life, one of my friends introduced me to the song and when I heard it I just started laughing. No-one can have that much trouble I thought. So at least for a while, my own troubles left me. My depression lifted and I felt better. All music can affect feelings. Maybe this isn't permanent, but it can be a chink of light in the darkness. By speaking the troubles out loud perhaps only the Blues can really let us all know that we are not alone! Jungians and cognitive psychologists both say that we can't eliminate personal suffering but we can we can change the way we look at it! The guitar featured here is a Dobro - a resonator guitar with a proud history - and that's my friend's hand playing the beast. Technically, I used a high ASA in bright sunlight and added grain electronically for good measure.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Breakfast and Mental Health

I always ask clients about their physical health. Mental and physical health are connected so it's a good idea to think about what your eating. Indeed there are those with personality types who are not good with this aspect of their lives. They feel they shouldn't have to eat. But if you don't have a good breakfast your physical and mental well-being will be affected - as I found the other day when I skipped breakfast. I had forgotten my usual shopping supplies. When I got to the gym I found I couldn't keep my schedule. The brain needs food too, so if you're not a breakfast person, try to persuade yourself that you will enjoy something more than a cup of coffee!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Symbols and dreams

In psychotherapy, much attention is paid to dreams. As the uncensored product of the unconscious, dreams provide excellent material to work through. A single dream could occupy a whole session or more. The associations of the dreamer are the most important in this work, but archetypal symbols can come "pre-loaded". The picture is rather similar to an image in a dream experienced by a friend. The dream revealed her feelings about her husband being "a horse of a different colour". This particular image is from a museum's Indian exhibition and could fall within the Vedic tradition (I am open to correction). In the Rig Veda, one or seven horses draw the chariot of the sun. A votive red horse was found in a Celtic hoard excavated in France and is thought to foretell war or destruction (as in the Apocalypse). And the dreamer's dream? Yes it did presage conflict.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Psychotherapy in Dublin: Avoid anxiety and depression

Psychotherapy in Dublin: Avoid anxiety and depression

Avoid anxiety and depression

When we're feeling a bit anxious or depressed, we tend to let worries circulate in our head and stopping what cognitive psychologists call "automatic thoughts" can prove difficult. It's possible to clear the cycle in a number of ways. Outside the exercises which you might undertake in the therapy room, concentrating on taking in the sights and sounds around us can help. Try to be fully aware of what's going on around you. If you are taking a walk, avoid looking down. Keep your eyes focused mid-range on your immediate environment and try to appreciate what is going on. This image is just a street photograph - people, colour and shapes. Instead of street works being a nuisance, they become a source of stimulation. Have a look at what's in the photograph. There's lots going on that we miss when we let worries dominate!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


This week, Dublin was fairly windswept and the rain fell relentlessly. It's possible to feel quite down when weather like this persists. I recommend looking at it in a different way. Every kind of weather has something interesting to offer, In this case it was the opportunity for a dramatic photograph!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Book Review

It is seldom that a work of fiction celebrates so accurately the historical figures of psychoanalysis. The Interpretation of Murder is indeed a tour de force. This is no ordinary murder mystery but one which involves Freud, Jung, Ferenczi and others on their famous visit to New York in 1909. Jed Rubenfield, a Professor of Law at Yale University has managed to successfully emulate the Victorian writing style and in so doing, captures the epoch, the figures and the social values of the time. If you are interested in Shakespeare's Hamlet, the Oedipus Complex and hysteria, all woven together - then this book will satisfy. An absolute must to take on holiday! Interestingly, there is a web site where you can make comments on any aspect of the book. Picking holes in the plot or historical accuracy is encouraged, so it's worth making a visit to .