The wider perspective

This page touches briefly on some of the wider positions that I hold that influence my way of practising psychotherapy.

I have not invented these perspectives; I have taken them from the wide universe of thinkers about science and wisdom; and they may be helpful for you if you want to have an idea how I situate myself.

Community, society, culture

The modern view, to which I very much subscribe, is that there are several layers beyond the individual and beyond one-to-one relationships. Different levels beyond the small-scale interpersonal can be: your community, the society in which you live, and the culture or cultures you are part of. It can be tempting to shut these out of the therapy room, but this is unlikely to work or to do justice in a sustainable way to many of the problems that people struggle with. Issues of values and human rights belong here, too; I find them so important that I put them directly on my personal page under "Fundamental ideas and values".

Systems view

This means that I believe that a system is more than the sum of its parts. It complicates life, and our understanding of life. It says that "everything" can be, and often is, related; that a simple sequence, a one-directional causality, or a single person or entity to blame, rarely if ever resolves a problem, or leads to sustainable change. People and parts are interdependent; you need to work with the whole system in mind; circular and multiple causality are the norm; the therapy room cannot be isolated from the world. The family is one key example of a system.

Money and paid work - making a living

I believe that many people including psychotherapists underestimate the importance of working for a living, the central meaning of money, and the extent of problems people have with money. I believe that working is healthy, and that money is such a loaded "institution" or thing that for most people a good deal of inquiry and talking about money and their attitudes towards it can open doors and give real relief.

Ecotherapy, nature, the universe

Ecotherapy is a word coined to express the fundamental connection there is between human and non-human animals, other forms of life, inanimate material reality and the whole universe with all it contains, up to its spiritual aspects or interpretations. It tries to acknowledge the role of nature, and concludes that for healing and personal growth an interaction with nature, earth, all of the world, and the universe is likely to be helpful and can be essential.

There is much that is unknown and unexplored in this field, but in general I believe that the ideas of ecotherapy are  very credible, and that especially because of the problems that there are ecologically on earth at the moment, ecotherapy will have a growing importance and relevance.

Spirituality

Health, healing, wholeness and holy are related not by linguistic accident, but are really one (after David W Orr). I have been influenced by and followed many ideas and practices in my life. I believe it is often useful, and sometimes essential, to be in touch with the spirituality and practices of my clients. This includes the range from mainstream monotheistic religions to Buddhism, Taoism / Daoism, yoga, paganism, or variations of atheism or materialism.

The place of psychotherapy

There are other things in life than psychotherapy that are of vital importance: people, relationships, working, creating, living, spirituality, politics, ecology, the planet, nature, non-human animals, love and sex, the groundedness of all and everyone in body, matter, time and evolution.

Despite the potential of psychotherapy to be a significant force for good to help people, psychotherapy isn't everything. I consider psychotherapy as one option, and not as a panacea for every person and every problem.