Some of the goals of therapy

To find ways to love and accept love

How to stop getting stuck in feeling bad about yourself

To create a fuller and happier life

To find ways out of helplessness and the feelings of being overwhelmed

To find a way out of the unnecessary pains, sadness, and losses in our lives

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


       We often read in newspapers or online that "money" is one of the main conflicted areas for couples. Each of us in this country has to create an economic life, that is a given.   When we come together, how this requirement is blended and most importantly talked through and negotiated, is often at the center of the conflicts over money.   Most couples have to "live within their means".   They have some measurable income which must cover their expenditures and allocations.  This means they have constraints on their spending.  How are these decisions made.   Are the limits to spending decided openly and jointly or are the concerns for the economic well being shouldered by one and not the other.   When the decisions are not made jointly about both income and outflows, the couple is almost always headed towards resentment and accusation.  These feelings spill over into the daily life of the couple and especially their sexual life.  Most often the partners have recreated the economic model of each persons parents, this happens so often unconsciously.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011



He would drink by himself
And raise a weathered thumb
Towards the high shelf,
Calling another rum
And blackcurrant, without
Having to raise his voice,
Or order a quick stout
By a lifting of the eyes
And a discreet dumb-show
Of pulling off the top;
At closing time would go
In waders and peaked cap
Into the showery dark,
A dole-kept breadwinner
But a natural for work.
I loved his whole manner,
Sure-footed but too sly,
His deadpan sidling tact,
His fisherman's quick eye
And turned observant back.

To him, my other life.
Sometimes on the high stool,
Too busy with his knife
At a tobacco plug
And not meeting my eye,
In the pause after a slug
He mentioned poetry.
We would be on our own
And, always politic
And shy of condescension,
I would manage by some trick
To switch the talk to eels
Or lore of the horse and cart
Or the Provisionals.

But my tentative art
His turned back watches too:
He was blown to bits
Out drinking in a curfew
Others obeyed, three nights
After they shot dead
The thirteen men in Derry.
PARAS THIRTEEN, the walls said,
BOGSIDE NIL. That Wednesday
Everyone held
His breath and trembled.


It was a day of cold
Raw silence, wind-blown
Surplice and soutane:
Rained-on, flower-laden
Coffin after coffin
Seemed to float from the door
Of the packed cathedral
Like blossoms on slow water.
The common funeral
Unrolled its swaddling band,
Lapping, tightening
Till we were braced and bound
Like brothers in a ring.

But he would not be held
At home by his own crowd
Whatever threats were phoned,
Whatever black flags waved.
I see him as he turned
In that bombed offending place,
Remorse fused with terror
In his still knowable face,
His cornered outfaced stare
Blinding in the flash.

He had gone miles away
For he drank like a fish
Nightly, naturally
Swimming towards the lure
Of warm lit-up places,
The blurred mesh and murmur
Drifting among glasses
In the gregarious smoke.
How culpable was he
That last night when he broke
Our tribe's complicity?
'Now, you're supposed to be
An educated man,'
I hear him say. 'Puzzle me
The right answer to that one.'


I missed his funeral,
Those quiet walkers
And sideways talkers
Shoaling out of his lane
To the respectable
Purring of the hearse...
They move in equal pace
With the habitual
Slow consolation
Of a dawdling engine,
The line lifted, hand
Over fist, cold sunshine
On the water, the land
Banked under fog: that morning
I was taken in his boat,
The screw purling, turning
Indolent fathoms white,
I tasted freedom with him.
To get out early, haul
Steadily off the bottom,
Dispraise the catch, and smile
As you find a rhythm
Working you, slow mile by mile,
Into your proper haunt
Somewhere, well out, beyond...

Dawn-sniffing revenant,
Plodder through midnight rain,
Question me again.

Seamus Heaney, Nobel prize 1995 for Literature
Who are the casualties?  Certainly, the writer, the father, and the two tribes.   The despair in the father's journey, the complexity of love and anger for the writer, and the impact of hate between tribes.
The presence of our parents within our Being
brings incredibly complex feelings and stories
that shape our lives.


Moments of grace are emergent, they occur often as an unfolding consequence of acts of giving.  To understand the other's need or yearning in the moment and to respond in ways which match the need and yearning, is to create the possibility for a moment of  grace.   Wherein you feel that you don't need a reciprocation but rather the other's quietude eases your concerns, your drivenness.   In a small way the world can be good, and you are part of this goodness.