Temenos means sacred space in Greek. By using the word ‘sacred’ we are going beyond religion to refer to the specialness of being alive, of being human, of being connected with others, our families and friends, our work colleagues and the environment. Much of the time we do not feel this specialness; often all we can feel is inadequacy, fear, loneliness and self-loathing. Through mindfulness we can bring our attention to what we are experiencing in the present moment and then hopefully begin to see that things are ok, that we are ok.
Our sacred space could be a physical place or an emotional space or both. It might also bring a sense of stillness, a heightened awareness of what’s going on around us and inside us and less anxiety about the future. It may bring with it a sense of clarity and freedom to be who we want to be.
Significantly if the position of the ‘c’ in ‘sacred’ is moved forward, ‘sacred’ becomes ‘scared’; this can be a very scary journey.
Based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, we offer therapy for adults and also counseling/mentoring to businesses.
We work together to become more:
We work with business owners, management and staff to continue:
I wish I had known you as an adult
I wish you had cuddled and kissed my children
I wish you hadn’t done the things you did, but I’m beginning to understand
I wish you and Dad had lived happily ever after
But it wasn’t to be..........
This blog is in your memory
I love you
Mum RIP 1973.
INTO PSYCHOTHERAPY - IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO CHANGE THE LANDSCAPE OF YOUR CAREER
SWIFT ARTICLE - JULY 2017
Life-long learning, the importance of softer skills and the benefits of encouraging diversity in the work place were the key messages from the Institute for Tunrnaround’s 2017 Conference and building-blocks in my own life and career.
It was my daughter who pointed out an advert in the Evening Standard for a Foundation Course in Psychotherapy at Regent’s University, London. Like all good decisions, we both decided to enroll over a lovely bottle of red. We knew that enrolling on the same intake was not a good idea since a fair amount of time on such courses consists of bemoaning how awful one’s parents were; that wouldn’t have been fair on either of us. Yet, I have recently qualified as a Psychotherapist and joined UKCP (the UK Council for Psychotherapy). It has taken five years of study and practical work, which I somehow managed to juggle with Turnaround work and volunteering with two charities.
At the conference I was ‘just’ another 50-60 year old, male accountant. On the psychotherapy courses, these attributes put me at the very far end of the diversity spectrum! It often felt scary to be that different, particularly when discussing sexuality and sexual difficulties in a class where some were younger than my children. Nonetheless, the experience of diversity enriched us all.
How did this particular journey start? As a psychotherapist I would say that it started in my formative, mid teenage, years when my parents were going through a very messy divorce. Shortly after my father returned from hospital following a mental breakdown, my mother unexpectedly died of lung cancer aged 39. I was 17, my sister 12 and brother 7.
I left school at 16 to be a caretaker at a maternity home. Following my mother’s death I returned to school to complete my A levels and help look after the family until my father was ready to do so again. Very wise friends insisted I left home
I now practice as an adult Psychotherapist two days a week and over the years have learned much from my clients. As a middle class man with a privileged background I found it hard to believe the shocking life experiences shared by my clients, yet more and more similar stories followed.
Even Harrogate has a food bank. Homelessness, mental health problems, victims of serious crime, child abuse and abandonment exist in towns and cities across the UK. I have it on reliable authority that currently a seriously worrying cause of complaint to Citizens Advice Bureaux is problems in the roll out of Universal Credit. I know of one family who received no benefits at all for four months over Christmas. It’s a testament to the human spirit that some individuals and families somehow just manage to survive.
I have been asked a few times if it gets me down listening to other people’s problems. Sometimes I can’t avoid being moved by the trauma and struggles that some people have had to endure. However, being with clients can also be uplifting. The determination to change their lives for the better can be both humbling and inspirational; the brutal honesty and hard work that some clients invest.
Psychotherapy and Turnaround
My appreciation of many of the issues around mental health was of great benefit in my role as TD for a private healthcare group, where the largest business was that of a low-secure mental hospital. Also my training has helped me develop my softer skills.
IFT Members might remember the lecture given by Archie Norman a number of years ago. He put up the following quote from Lao Tsu:
“A leader is best when people barely knows he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say we did it ourselves”.
Sooner or later we are going to move on from an assignment and probably the only sure-fire way a Turnaround is going to work and be sustainable is when substantive staff say “we did it ourselves”.
Surprised at seeing a quote from Lao Tsu in a Turnaround presentation, I asked Archie Norman what in his opinion was the single most important Turnaround skill and he replied, “Listening.” This I think, possibly above all else, is what Psychotherapy training teaches, to deeply listen and not just with one’s ears.
I undertook the Psychotherapy training mainly for my own benefit at a time when I had the opportunity of reflecting on the influences in my life and the dramas I had created for myself. I wasn’t anticipating much of an impact on my Turnaround work. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I didn’t see it at first but there are many parallels between Turnaround and Transformation for individuals and for corporates. As a result of my training I’m also learning to take better care of myself and at the same time not to take myself too seriously; paradoxical maybe, but life seems to be much happier that way.