The Fifty Minute Hour

Thoughts on therapy and life

Human nature is intrinsically good.

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Working with addiction in a 12 step philosophy, the concept of a higher power is a constant theme. I get to share the struggle of our patients to come to terms with this as something intrinsic to their recovery. Often the starting point is “I don’t do God!”, moving on towards “well, if I did believe in something, what would it look like?” to, hopefully, some way of understanding life, that is bigger than the individual, from which they can draw faith in recovery.

Doing this work has led me to ponder, what would my higher power be? I come back each time to the idea that we, as people, are more good than we are bad; that there is more love within us than hate. It is not always easy to carry this belief and violent attacks such as the bombing in Manchester seem to defy it.

But, not really.

The kindness and caring of the people who instinctively did what they could to help those affected, is I believe, the true nature of what it means to be human. We are bound more by our similarities of love, care, sorrow and happiness, than the differences whipped up by bigotry and fanaticism. Right now it seems so important to remember this, to recognise and embody it.  From the acts of selflessness and heroism to the daily acts of kindness to the person we pass in the street, I still have faith in people and the good within us.


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In response to an article on “Why Channel 4’s ‘Sex Box’ Is Worse Than Seedy Porn”

I take your point that we exploit the intimate for public titillation (possibly why your blog on this particular subject is the Editor’s Choice?) but personally I am encouraged by anything that shows today’s teenagers that sex is not what they see presented in pornography. For the same reason I want young women to know that being a sexual woman does not mean looking like a porn actress. Cindy Gallop talks eloquently about the same topic in her TED talk (
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Do you see me?

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I’ve been enjoying the furore around Nadine Dorries’ ill advised trip down under to take part in “I’m a celebrity…” and the upset it has caused in the Tory party. I’m not sure I wholly buy the idea that she sees reality TV as a platform from which to make her views heard, I tend more towards the lure of a £40K payday, (and if I were her constituent I would be righteously annoyed at her absence from the house). But, the whole situation has got me thinking about how we all want to be seen and heard. View the pictures →

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Mental health and relationships

A really helpful blog (as ever) on mental health in relationships, from Meg Barker

Rewriting The Rules

Today is World Mental Health day so I thought I’d write a post about mental health in relationships.

My own position on mental health is that we all struggle, sometimes, with experiences of fear, sadness, anger, loss, shame, etc. which make life very difficult. Perhaps one of the most challenging times is when everyone in a relationship is struggling at the same time.  That is what I will mostly focus on here.

I went to a very interesting workshop on this topic at the weekend which helped me to think through some of these issues. The workshop highlighted the fact that many people had shared experiences and had developed similar, very helpful, strategies for dealing with them. Of course I won’t write anything here about specific examples given because the workshop was confidential, but I do want to thank the other people there for helping me to clarify my ideas as…

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