Tag Archives: Emotional

The Art of Listening In HBO’s In Treatment…

12 May

Listening is truly a lost art.

In Treatment Dr Paul Weston's Hand Gestures

How often do you encounter people in life that you can tell are obviously not listening? It is the most common experience.

Sadly, it has become rare when someone actually listens to you and values what you have to say. 

In Treatment Talk To Me

In Treatment was a half an hour drama on HBO that starred Gabriel Byrne. The show was about the art of listening, psychotherapy, dysfunctions, neuroses, ethics, fears, self-sabotage, mental illness, relationships, conflict, trauma, pain, suffering, healing, resilience, etc.

Compassion and humanity are at the root of psychotherapy and In Treatment respectively. They speak about the deep need to be listened to without judgment. I have a great respect for psychology. It was one of my areas of study and I have intuitively known it is my vocation since childhood.

In treatment was even studied in universities at the time {I am not sure if it still is}. Counselling psychology students discussed in treatment in classes. Its pedagogical purpose was to teach students how to live their potential as psychologist and to help their clients heal.

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In Treatment is like a prism that reflects the spectrum of humanity.

It can be Shakespearean in its dramatic storylines, intimate revelations and profound intellectual discussions.

{Side note: this is Paul’s wave machine in the introduction}.

It is a cerebral show that dives deep into the Alice in wonderland rabbit hole of the psyche. In treatment relies heavily on the art of acting. Gabriel and the rest of the cast really shine in this thirty-minute drama. The skilled actors play off the script, each other, emotions and body language. They have no special effects to rely on- just their acting skills. {Side note: Gabriel won a golden globe for his performance. Many other actors and the show itself were nominated for numerous awards}.

Gabriel’s character is the compassionate Dr.Paul Weston.

He is the wounded healer, secret keeper, listener, teacher and psychologist.

In Treatment He's Listening

Psychotherapy is based on trust and vulnerability- spiritual and emotional nakedness. There is a strong emotional connection between Paul and all of his patients. First, he has to earn their trust and convince them to trust him and open up.

He must analyze their issues beneath the masks they wear.

He has to discern the truth from lies, distortions and projections.

All of his patients have complex problems and dysfunctional patterns of behaviour.

Some are based on the complexities of being in a relationship and sharing a life with someone despite conflicting personalities or desires. With Jake and Amy, Paul is a mediator between them. He uses conflict resolution, helps them clarify their real issues/emotions and helps them decide on their course of action.

Others are more individual problems with roots in childhood.

Regardless of how the trauma manifests itself, what is evident is that Paul is responsible for his patients.

In some cases, he is the only person that his patients have to rely on. 

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In treatment examines many themes. One is the issue of transference.

Transference can happen in the therapeutic process. The psychologist has to maintain their boundaries and respect their professional code of ethics.

How do you treat a patient that thinks they are in love with you?

What if they insist on their declarations of love?

What if they play mind games and employ manipulation?

How do navigate that?

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Intergenerational trauma is another topic that is examined in the show.

Alex is not even aware of the impact of how his father murdered his grandfather traumatized him. He is also not conscious of how his childhood and his father’s toxic masculinity traumatized him.

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How do you deal with the emotional impact of listening to people’s problems all day?

Many psychologists go to their own psychologist for therapy and to consult about their patients. Paul goes to Gina for this purpose. Their relationship is quite strained but he desperately needs that outlet.

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Some quotes from this video stood out to me in particular…

“It is hard to see so many people in pain and not be able to do anything to help them in some way.” -Paul

“Maybe helping is easier than feeling the pain.” -Laura

I can attest to this feeling of helplessness. It is very painful for me to see or know that someone is in pain without being able to do anything to ease their suffering.

Laura’s observation has some merit. Sometimes it is easier to help than feel. Sometimes it just hurts too much.

“We are not Gods, we can’t save anybody.” -Gina

Gina’s statement is true.

We cannot save anybody.

We can only help them to save themselves.

“It is possible to live in a world where people panic, where people let each other down, where they disappoint each other but still help each other out.” -Paul

I think this is the most realistic observation.

It is still possible to help each other despite our flaws and limitations.

Paul asks Alex where he wants his therapy to lead him. He answers painfully, “some place where I feel less shitty about myself.”

There is something in Blair Underwood’s voice when he says “some place where I feel less shitty about myself.” We can all relate to this sentiment.

“I thought that is what we are on the earth for- to help each other- to step up to the plate when somebody needs us.” -Paul

I have to agree with Paul.

I think it is noble to derive your life’s purpose from altruism and compassion.

Finding meaning in helping others is something I can deeply relate to.

“There are other places where you can feel safe and here in this room is one of those places.” -Paul

The therapist’s office is like a sanctuary from the chaos of the world.

Paul really wants to help his patients find their own answers to enlighten themselves, empower themselves and solve their problems.

With Sophie, Paul wanted her to have her own epiphanies.

In this scene, Sophie has empowered herself enough to confront her father on his abandonment and absence as a father.

Paul’s role is not to be the judge but to guide them to reconnect and re-establish their relationship. The journey is painful but worthwhile.

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Paul’s observations/analysis is incisive.

He really gets to the root of his patient’s suffering.

{It reminds me of Robin Williams’ character the psychologist Sean McGuire in Goodwill Hunting}.

His patients always challenge him and often test his boundaries.

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It should be noted that Paul has his own problems to contend with.

I think it is vital to observe that psychologists are human and imperfect. They have to deal with their own life and its challenges while trying to help others heal and figure out their life’s labyrinth.

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Happy birthday to Gabriel Byrne today!!!

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Further Research

Gabriel Byrnehttps://www.byrneholics.com/

Gabriel Byrne’s Internet Movie Database Page

In TreatmentIn Treatment’s Internet Movie Database Page

In Treatment’s HBO Page

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Have you watched In Treatment?

What did you think?

You can watch it on HBO’s website {for a price}.

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Rest in peace to Irrfan Khan who recently died {April 29th, 2020}.

He brilliantly played Sunil in the third season.

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Peace & Compassion,

-V.

Reflection for today…Deconstructing Happiness -Karl Pilkington

2 Aug

*This post is dedicated to my friend Olly who is the biggest Karl Pilkington fan that I know.

Karl Pilkington is a critical thinker.

Karl Loves To Think Outside The Box…

Part of Karl’s mass appeal is that he stays true to himself. Despite his massive success, Karl seems to still be authentic. He is always honest, curious, humble and so funny. He is best known as comedian Ricky Gervais’ friend and colleague on their very successful podcasts The Ricky Gervais Show. He was the star of an idiot abroad and even wrote a diary about his adventures. His latest creative endeavour is the moaning of life.

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In this short video clip Karl deconstructs happiness in relation to physical beauty/fitness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnoIj624Wf8

Happiness | The Moaning of Life | Karl Pilkington

For the moaning of life, he meets a man who has had 120 procedures and approximately $150,000 worth of plastic surgeries. Karl posed without his shirt next to the man who’s had all the plastic surgeries. The interviewer says to Karl, “I am quite impressed with that you don’t care. You are happy to stand there posing with your top off. And let’s face it, you haven’t the best body known to man.”

I love Karl’s humble yet refreshing attitude in response to the interviewer. He replies that his body is “not a bad one…it works. But I understand that any women watching this wouldn’t go…oh, look at him. But that’s the reality isn’t it? That’s what most people look like.” Why is Karl’s physique so unattractive or unacceptable?? I don’t think it is by any means. It’s a manner of perception and what we are being sold {in an ideological sense i.e. perfection}. Most people prefer fantasy and illusion instead of truth. Karl Pilkington is the ultimate realist and he employs his critical thinking skills to deconstruct the situation.

Karl inquisitively asks, “So I don’t know what’s happened where they think that’s normal on the left.” Adverting has sent people on a relentless quest for perfection, beauty/sex appeal and youth. Men are now being attacked with similar psychological warfare that women are attacked with {albeit to a much lesser degree}. Even children are being groomed as consumers.

We are reduced to our exterior appearances- not even amounting to the sum of our parts. In the mainstream media, what we look like has solely defined who we are. Our rich inner life, emotions, intellect, spirituality have been erased from the discourse and divorced from our identities. I wonder what consequences this emotional and spiritual disconnection will bring. We cannot allow society, marketing/advertising to dictate to us who we are. Your self identity needs to be your own creation because only you know who you are inside.

The ridiculous new plastic surgery that Karl mentions is testicle ironing. What has happened to people that they need to invent these new procedures? Are they really that bored or obsessed with unattainable perfection? Why don’t people focus on true problems in humanity: poverty; hunger; war; abuse to children, animals, women, the environment; human trafficking; genital mutilation; acid attacks; rapes; racism, sexism, discrimination of all types; social inequality, etc? I always wonder what great things people could accomplish in their personal lives {and humanity as a whole} if we wouldn’t be seduced by this culture of narcissism and distraction.

Will people wake up to their own power in order to enact change in their lives and in the context of the world? Will most remain asleep? Time will tell but hopefully more will realize this matrix is a prison {if we chose to stay enslaved in it}. It is time to wake up and realize that emancipation from society’s brainwashing is in our hands. We hold the key. This quest for perfection, endless youth and eternal beauty is a social construction and an illusion.

No one will argue against self-care as caring about one’s health and appearance is quite healthy. The danger lies in caring too much because it can distract you from more important things in life that are more deserving of your time, energy and attention. Focusing obsessively on such trivial and vain things such as perfection seems like such a waste of energy, time, money and human potential but that’s just my opinion. As Karl says, “don’t worry about it.”

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Do you agree or disagree with Karl Pilkington?

Why or why not?

{I hope to feature more moaning of life clips and Karl Pilkington in the near future}.

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Please enjoy Clutching at Straws by Andrea Parker {from her Kiss My Arp cd}….

{I was lucky enough to see her in person when she opened up for Radiohead. It was divine and I loved her music}.

I copied this from her biography page…

“”Known as no1darker – Parker has always been uncompromising, passionate about the music and loaded with don’t–give-a-shit resolve. She has a love of art, arps, photography, architecture, graffiti, 808, concrete, glaciers, adidas, Bass, rust and all things white.  She is incredibly hard to pigeon hole : one minute she will be in the studio making dark, menacing, haunting music-  going from Booty shakin’ beats to string drenched ballads. The next she’ll be climbing mountains and reaching new summits; from Kilimanjaro in Africa to the avenue of the volcanoes in Ecuador.  She has worked for many charity’s, including Crisis, the NSPCC, Get kids going and many more, she even dressed up as Pudsey Bear for Children in Need!!  An old school analogue girl at heart, she still remains a die hard B Girl and is defiantly a freaky B*tch! One things for sure: She’d give the men in white coats a run for their money if they even dared think about taking her away…”

-Time Out magazine

“Beats so phat, so dope and so dark, there ain’t a NYC MC alive (cept maybe Rakim) that could handle them”

-New York Times

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40JbtBCjz1U&feature=share

Knowing our self
Who we think that we are
Constantly changing
Constantly changing
So near and so far
Knowing ourself
Who we think that we are
Constantly changing
Constantly changing
So near and so far
Who we think that we are
Who we think that we are
Who we think that we are.”

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For more information…

Karl Pilkington…http://www.karlpilkington.com/ 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1797453/

The Moaning of Life…http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3277670/ 

Andrea Parker…http://www.andreaparker.co.uk/ 

http://www.andreaparker.co.uk/about-andrea

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Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…The Storm Is Inside Of You -Haruki Murakami

3 Nov

Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you.

This storm is you. Something inside of you.

So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.

And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.

And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. 

When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in.

That’s what this storm’s all about.” 

Haruki Murakami,   Kafka on the Shore 

The Storm Is Something Inside Of You…

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Please enjoy Riders On The Storm By The Doors

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS-af9Q-zvQ

*Side note: “Riders On The Storm” was the last song recorded by the members of The Doors, according to Ray, as well as Jim´s last recorded song to be released (recorded December 1970 – January 1971 – released in June ´71).”

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For more information…

Haruki Murakami…http://www.murakami.ch/main_6.html 

http://www.murakamibooks.co.uk

The Doors…https://thedoors.com

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Isn’t Haruki Murakami so wise?

Doesn’t he write so beautifully?

Is the storm an emotional, psychological or spiritual storm?

{I think it is all of the above}.

Could a storm be a real mental illness or physical illness?

{I think so- especially with mental illness because it is internal just like Murakami’s metaphorical storm}.

Is life just a pause between each storm?

Or is life the storm itself?

{One could come to that conclusion because life involves constant change}. 

Is the purpose of the storm to make us grow, learn, heal and/or evolve?

Do we need the chaos and suffering of the storm so that we can learn, grow/evolve and heal?

I like that he suggests that even though we will get hurt we will also heal.

We are inherently resilient.

He also stresses the idea of metamorphosis.

Once we come out of the storm we are changed.

Could this be spiritual/emotional/psychological alchemy?

{I would love to hear your thoughts}.

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Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Soulful Gaze -Henry David Thoureau

6 Aug

“Could a greater miracle take place

than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?”

-Henry David Thoreau

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS0Tg0IjCp4

Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last hug in the middle and never seeing each other again. at her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing it.”

Soulful Gaze Between Performance Artists Marina Abramović & Ulay…

A Soulful Touch...

 A Soulful Touch…

Ulay’s Eyes Reveal A Love Remembered…

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They say that the eyes are the mirrors of the soul but what about the heart?

The eyes reveal the heart’s hidden desires and suffering.

Marina’s Tears Reveal A Love Never Forgotten…

Please enjoy Touched by Vast…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S_R13jV11Q

“Touched
You say that I am too
So much of what you say is true
I’ll never find someone quite like you
Again
I’ll never find someone quite like you
Like you

The razors and the dying roses plead
I don’t leave you alone
The demi-gods and hungry ghosts of God
God knows I’m not at home

I’ll never find someone quite like you
Again
I’ll never find someone quite like you
Again

I, I looked into your eyes and saw
A world that does not exist
I looked into your eyes and saw
A world I wish I was in

I’ll never find someone quite as touched
As you
I’ll never love someone quite the way that I
Loved you.”

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Did Marina’s and Ulay’s performance bring you to tears?

It brought me to tears because it reminds us that we are so vulnerable and emotional- so utterly human.

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For more information…

Henry David Thoreau…http://www.walden.org/thoreau

Marina Abramović …http://www.marinaabramovicinstitute.org/

http://marinafilm.com/about-marina-abramovic

VAST…http://vast.me/

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Peace & Namaste…