Thursday, May 20, 2010


Just before the end of Baggot Street Lower, across from the bridge, is this plaque in the wall of the terrace. It's just outside the Health Board's research office but I am unsure of the date when the plaque was introduced. Certainly it was part of the Research Board's promotion, when it adopted the logo. "We leave no stone unturned" was the message. The turnstone bird is so called because of its habit of inserting its beak between pebbles and turning them over in search of a morsel. It can turn over its own size and weight so it's quite strong. Its song though, is a bit low and rattly so it's better too watch a turnstone do its job than listen to it sing. It's on the amber list of endangered species so there aren't so many of them around. It occurred to me that it was also a good symbol for psychotherapy. In the therapeutic alliance, we like to turn over stones and discover and acknowledge things about ourselves that we did not know. Now the turnstone eats what he finds - and we need to do the same thing. Having acknowledged our discoveries. we need to integrate them - which means accepting them, relating them to other parts of ourselves and using them in our daily lives. That's kind of "eating it", is it not?