helping people find their way

Philosophy

There is an increasing trend in our Western, and more recently global cultural mindset (as Western values have been exported to other parts of the world) that is characterised by a tendency towards objectification.  What I mean by this is that we have developed, and are increasingly dominated by ways of thinking and relating, which turn ourselves, each other, and our environments into objects of interest with a view towards a potential personal gain. In Martin Buber’s terms: We have adopted a collective ‘I-It’ position.

One way in which this manifests is in our cultural preoccupation with ‘outcomes’, a notion which is more and more taken for granted and largely goes unquestioned. Whilst it is reasonable to expect some kind of effect from any process, an ‘outcomes’ focus may be more suited to some areas of life compared to others. Too much focus on it can distract from other important aspects, and what appears to have got lost is the soulfulness of our encounters, which acknowledges a sense of shared being – with ourselves, others, and the world around us.

My work seeks to create a deeper relationship and establish a more soulful engagement with ourselves, each other, our environments, and life itself, one which honours our unique individuality as well as our connectedness.
I try to do this by assisting people to stop and be present to, reflect on, and engage with their lived experience. Such reflective witnessing and engagement usually results in an expanding awareness of internal processes and how they interact with external life. This includes an examination of any internal dynamics, which may create problems in our lives and relationships and can function as obstacles to a deeper engagement.

I regard this as important as a significant part of our actions are ultimately motivated by internal conditions: Our beliefs, feelings, and assumptions about ourselves, other people, the world, and life. These guide our behaviours and interactions with others – often outside of our awareness – and thus flow from within us out into the world, affecting our personal, social, and natural environments in many different ways. Bringing these internal conditions more into conscious awareness enables us to align our actions and interactions with others.

This process helps us personally but it also contributes to the conscious evolution of the world. The current state of our world is ultimately a representation of our internal worlds – as it increasingly becomes clear that many of our collective, particularly environmental problems have been fashioned by human visions and actions – actions which have flowed from our beliefs, assumptions, feelings, and desires. Hence, never before has there been a greater need for self-awareness and self-examination – as when we change ourselves we change the world by the way we interact with it.

In this sense I believe that psychological services have the potential to make an important contribution to the health and well-being of individuals, relationships, families, workplaces, society, and the environment because they facilitate the conscious awareness of personal values; the identification, expression, and integration of unresolved emotional issues, as well as problematic behavioural and relational patterns.