I was very glad to have taken the world trip, something I had promised myself for many years and even more glad to be back in England again. I was proud of having spent over thirty years creating businesses to help make money for the family to be able to provide our children with a good education and holidays they could enjoy.
Another era began when I could spend time with Kate and her two small sons. They were six and seven years old. They lived near us just outside Cambridge and from since their birth I was delighted to play the role of grandmother and to take up again the good relationship I had always had with Kate as we both became older and more experienced. I was now more than ready to begin my practice as a psychotherapist.
At first Bob came with me as I searched for a suitable office to work from. I didn’t ask him if he would permit me to set up practice in our house. It soon became obvious that I couldn’t afford the rent at that time. He then suggested that it would be best for me to work from home. He put my needs before his feelings about not having strangers in the house. Once he had made his mind up I established a private practice as a psychotherapist in a suitably large room upstairs overlooking the garden. Typically of Bob, once I had begun my practice, he went out of his way to support me by answering the telephone if I was busy or away, so that I would not lose a possible client.
This new enterprise allowed me much more time to spend with my family. I came into my own during those later years. When I first returned home after my trip I had almost no money. I had finally managed to get rid of my Glasgow shop with Bob’s help. I still had my car and in the first few weeks of my new life I was delighted that I did not have to go bankrupt and after years of spending time in the shops, especially on Saturdays, I had a wonderful sense of freedom.
I started my practice at a good time. I was free of the presence of government’s intervention which is now doing its best to place unnecessary restraints in the fields of medicine, education and psychotherapy, to mention just a few.
This is indeed the era of The Nanny State. As things get worse, our freedom gets less. There are far too many do-gooders whose real aim is to gain power for themselves; regardless of other people’s needs. As the standards of most universities drop steadily, the best of our creative people are discouraged from teaching in state schools and many other areas. All this regulation smacks of dictatorship. Everyone ought to have the right to develop their skills in their own ways. Creative people who are good at what they do, need freedom to discover their ideas and build on them. The best of us need encouragement to explore ways in which we can do our own research and ensure that it is brought into the public arena.
I speak from experience. I learned a great deal from my therapeutic work. I became more and more aware that the essence of good psychotherapy is founded in the development of how the clients learned to take responsibility through thinking for themselves about the way in which they communicate with other people.
I have written a unique PhD that is the first of its kind in the world. I meant it to be a foundation to help other therapists to take my work further. It was published by Karnac, whose editor greatly valued it and entered it for a prize. To my great disappointment it did not sell. Yet the importance of the works of George Orwell and Harvey Sacks is vital for all psychotherapists and has been ignored. There are many psychotherapists and psychiatrists who cannot do their work properly because they have not learned about how to do Conversation Analysis.
My book is particularly important because my findings come from a wider basis of different disciplines than most other researchers. They include linguistics, philosophy, genetics, a wide knowledge of the best of English Literature, and personal observations and conclusions about how we ourselves and others reveal who we are, through the ways in which we communicate with words.
As far as I can tell, there are some therapists who think they know about the importance of the spoken word by placing too much importance on the well-known work of Noam Chomsky . Yes, his knowledge is important but it doesn’t apply to conversation analysis, so it is not applicable to psychotherapy. I am very proud of my PhD and I shall continue to take my ideas further. I live in the hope that there must be some readers who realise the importance of what I have done.