Why is it that whilst we live in far greater comfort than our ancestors, many of us are so dissatisfied with their lives? Too many people are telling other people what to do. Why? Because far too many people want to be told what to do.
This is the sliding road down to dictatorship. People need challenges, without them life is boring. I’ve been studying human nature all my life. The results are in myPhD, ‘Not Just Talking’ which was published by Karnac in 2009. It is the first of its kind.
It shows that psychotherapy will not work unless the dialogue between therapist and client is focused on the therapist challenging the words spoken by the client, whatever the kind of therapy applied. The aim is to teach the clients to think for themselves.
People who do think for themself do not need therapy. It does not mean that they don’t have problems but it does mean that they have the mental resources to take the needed actions.
Thinking for yourself only works when you know yourself very well. Such people are rare, as Shakespeare taught us:
This above all to thine own self be true
and it must follow as the night the day
thou cans’t not then be false to any man.
None of us are perfect in our use of words, or to put it a different way, we none of us say exactly what we mean to the right person ar the right time. The art of conversation requires great honesty and great skill. You do not have to be an academic to do this: what you need is the courage to discover what kind of person you are and no-one else can do that for you. We can only help ourselves and others as best we can without letting strong emotions get in the way.
The two conclusions of my work are that what we all of us need to follow them to be at peace with ourselves, whatever happens in our lives.
The first is we need to respect ourselves enough to become the individuals we were meant to be and second, because we cannot be ourselves except through what we learn from those around us, we must make sure to join only those groups that will benefit us and vice versa.
The most important writers who influenced me are the philosopher Spinoza (1632-77), the works of George Orwell, Harvey Sachs and ‘Science and Sanity’ by Korzybski.