Some thoughts in the end of 2017


Meetings of different kind, at our office and elsewhere have taken place during the year- some have been hard to deal with, but most of time it has been enriching and powerful to be a part of The Extended Therapy Room.

An increasing number of individuals and organizations are nowadays more critical to the use of psychiatric diagnosis and prescriptions of psycho pharmaceutical drugs than just some years ago when our organization started. Our purpose is shared with many others all over. It is indeed hopeful!!

An increasing number of individuals and organizations are asking for alternatives to the psychiatric paradigm when people experience life crisis, our organization is together with others trying to describe and mediate what matters and what is needed. Still there is a way to go….

I am happy and grateful for many things, but also worried – there are indeed things to be worried about, in the big world as in the small one. More than ever we need to remind each other about the importance of continuing the shared work for a better world.

BIG WORDS… Tom Andersen used to talk about big words and what it means in practice. I wonder what he would have said about the situation by today. Many words, many different concepts, diagnosis, terms and theories. But does it necessarily mean better meetings with one another?

I am not sure about that, most people tell about the essential meeting with another human being, especially when life is at stake. Very few, if anyone refer to theoretical concepts or methods when we describe what was important when hope was nearly gone or when it felt as if everything was lost. Rather we then describe the experience of caring, love and solidarity. To be met by another human in a dignified way.

Our feelings are essential, so is our thinking. Maybe more than ever right now. How do we – you and I think about life and other humans, how do we- you and I include others? How do we talk about one another and how do we solve dilemmas and conflicts in everyday life and in society?

A few days ago I watched a movie about the life of Hanna Arendt, a great philosopher and human being. I thought to myself that her thinking and deeds are missing today. What would she have said about the world and what would she had suggested us to do? I think she would have asked us to connect research and practice in a more direct way, and to never forget our own responsibility regarding the way we talk and behave towards each other. She would probably had been upset about the “nonsense research” which makes no sense and she would have asked for more actions…

Christmas appears, for some people it means a lot and for some people it means nothing. Whether we believe in the narrative or not, about a child being born in a stable many years ago, Christmas might remind about the importance of love and miracles happen. At least that is what Christmas means to me, and the darker it gets the more I need to hold on to the idea about the light and yes, miracles happen. What else to call that which happens when people come together and open up our hearts and minds… One of the Nobel prize winners talked about miracles happen, but it uses to be connected to hard work, he said. Might well be… Things happen we cannot always explain, life changing meetings and new discoveries.

Psychotherapy research tell us it is not possible to explain in detail what works and what does not work in the therapy room, the researchers claim it seems as if the meeting is essential between the therapist and the one called client. Those of us; professional helpers and family homes who have worked for many years know that the researchers are right – the meeting is essential – actually the most important. But not just the meeting, also the therapist and the client as those we are matters. How we talk, think and behave, towards each other, ourselves and others.

It is knowledge related to life itself, something human beings have experienced and still experience, no matter when and where on earth we are. My wish for years to come is that we will take care of this knowledge, and create organizations and contexts which hold essential knowledge, develop it and care for it.

I wish you All a peaceful, thoughtful and loving Christmas Holiday and a GOOD NEW 2018 to come!!!

With love and appreciation