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Letters to the Editor Issue 53

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 53 - June 2000

Psychotherapy: dealing in intangibles

I write in response to Sheldon Litt's column, 'Doctor of the Soul', in the April 2000 issue.

How can Dr Litt be sure that his 'awakened' client (the girl sacked from the bank, who went to work in childcare) did not return to a suicidal state after their brief meeting? And how can he know that the good communications he has had with his most 'recalcitrant' clients have not borne fruit, years or even decades after their occurrence? Seeing the ultimate effects of our thoughts and actions is beyond our narrow personal perspectives, so how can we know whether we have helped or hindered?

This question can be asked of any career, or indeed, any decision we make. Psychotherapy serves well as an example of this because it is a process dealing entirely in intangibles – you can't measure the lightness of one's heart with a set of scales.

The physical wound can be witnessed to heal following medical treatment. However, despite double-blind placebo-controlled trials, some mystery surely remains as to why healing occurs. Because the doctor salves the wound, is s/he responsible for the ensuing healing?

I don't think psychotherapists need feel that their work is any less veritable than that of doctors because physical evidence is not available. Unless, of course, the psychotherapist is not free enough of the illusions of the world to recognize whether s/he helps the client to dismantle
illusions or maintain them.

The measure of success in psychotherapy (and all healing work, and indeed, all communication) is the quality of exchange between the person giving and the person receiving. When clarity, lack of judgement and dare I say it, love, are evident and authentic, then you have success, regardless of outcome. These signs of healing can be neither faked nor measured materially and are indeed limitless.

Katherine Lloyd

Healers: merely a catalyst?

In response to the comments on Leon Chaitow's column: Issue 50, March 2000:

Leon Chaitow says: "The art of healing involves selecting treatment appropriately, and not making matters worse." In actual fact, at the most fundamental level, the 'healer', (therapist, doctor etc.) is merely a catalyst in the process of spirit re-membering (i.e. putting itself back together) a healthy state, homeostasis.

In our arrogant assumption that we actually do something as therapists, we tend to forget that we are simply channels for the interplay of spirit and have chosen to work with people who are out of balance. In this state all the arguments about who does what to whom drop away, as does judgement (a lot of this going on when therapist egos come into the equation!) and we see a perfect evolution where people are simply choosing to experience different forms of pain, treatment, therapists etc. I firmly believe that the therapist attracts the right patients for their current level of learning and vice versa.

Chaitow also criticizes therapists for treating patients symptomatically. But Hahnemann, who wrote one of the greatest pieces of logic on the treatment of diseased states, says that the sum of the symptoms is the totality of the dis-ease and is the only information that should be used in arriving at a treatment protocol. In essence, what he is saying is: 'Don't treat what you can't see, and make sure you can see and understand the implications of everything that is going on.' How well the therapist is able to fulfil that injunction depends on his/her skill, experience, humility, openness and willingness to learn continually from the inter-relationship with his/her patients.

Best wishes, great magazine. Wish I had discovered it earlier!

Helena Dennison
Homoeopath and Healer

Seating & Back Care: not just for the office!

I congratulate Alan Glaser on an excellent article 'The Vital Role of Seating in Back Care' in the March, 2000 issue. While agreeing with him about the importance of office seating, I would like to point out the importance of seating at home, in buses, trains, and other public places as well. The quality of seating found in these areas is often very poor and is getting worse. These seats are also putting strain on spines and adding to the incidence of back pain.

It is almost impossible to find good, supportive sofas and chairs for the home in ordinary furniture stores. I get constant requests for information on where to buy sofas and armchairs that are not too soft or too deep.

Manufacturers like Advance Seating, please note. Why not design a sofa that is attractive and good for the back?

Could I encourage readers to complain to the relevant authorities when they encounter badly designed seating in public places and public transport?

Office seating is improving, but unfortunately other types are getting worse. And unless we make a fuss, this will continue.

Jane Staggs
for the Campaign for Better Seating


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