Tag Archives: Listen

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.

Karl Pilkington Reflects On The Art of Seduction in The Moaning of Life…

15 Sep

Karl Pilkington has quickly become one of my favourite comedians. I consider him to be an ultimate “truth-teller” {as most comedians are e.g. Larry David}. They shine a light on many hypocritical, controversial or hidden aspects of society and human behaviour. I have respect for comedians and their honesty. They have such keen eyes and ears for social observation and commentary. A comedian will tell it like it is. You can count on them for that.

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In this short video clip, Karl meets Vinnie the “pick-up artist”.

The results are comedic gold.

{I simply can’t get enough of Karl’s sarcastic looks when the camera catches him in action}. He is clearly not convinced by Vinnie’s seduction tactics. Hilarious!

It is truly a case of the clueless leading the confused. I truly feel compassion and pity for these men. They went to this man for guidance and wisdom {just observe them staring at Vinnie}. If anything, he simply strayed them from the path of love and authentic, soulful relating. 

Vinnie’s lack of respect for personal space and boundaries worries me. Respect is gravely missing from the equation. I totally agree with Karl when he notes, “you can’t go about just touching women!” Don’t you just love how outraged he is at this lack of respect? All men should be outraged at disrespect towards women. I think the measure of a man lies in how much he respects women {and others- including himself}. Karl is a man of integrity and is often the voice of reason. I find myself agreeing with him all the time.

An example of Karl’s solid logic is his response to Vinnie’s approach to seducing women. Karl observes, “why don’t you have a chat and see what they like first?…Give them some facts. I’m interested in nature and that so give them a little nature fact or a little…you know, something that like that if they go, “why are you talking about nature for you boring ****” and walks off then I didn’t want to go out with you anyway. If you don’t like nature then**** off.” Karl’s philosophy is to be authentic and if Karl Pilkington is anything he is the epitome of honesty and authenticity.

I love that Karl knows no hypocrisy. He probably doesn’t have a false bone in his body. His approach is to be real and I think more people should adopt this way of relating. I am a person that likes to know where I stand with people. I don’t have the desire or the energy to pretend to like someone or something when I don’t. Your life energy/chi/prana is sacred and I don’t think it should be prostituted in being false. Isn’t it a tragedy that so often people don’t know who they are before old age or death? Why not go within on the greatest journey of self-discovery? {I digress because I am going on a tangent}.

Karl’s authenticity is in direct opposition to Vinnie false pretense of seduction. Vinnie is playing a role. He is acting but who is the real Vinnie? We know exactly who the real Karl is and I deeply appreciate this. In my humble opinion, Vinnie has got it all wrong. His aim is to touch a woman physically and this approach is a disservice to women. It is so reductive because it shrinks women into a sole object of sexual desire, nothing more and nothing less. In this paradigm, women’s identities are fractured and their intelligence is dissolved- or at least obscured from the dialogue.

Most women would love it if a man would be attracted to their mind as well as their body. By only focusing on the body, Vinnie is creating a schism between the body and the mind. He clearly doesn’t know that the intellectual and creative realms are very sexual {i.e. “intelligence is sexy“}. If he really wanted to appeal to women, then he would teach these men to appeal to their minds, hearts and souls. In essence, his approach to seduction is boring because women are more intelligent and complex than he leads these poor men to believe. {Most women will also enforce their boundaries}.

I cannot give Vinnie any of credit for pretending to be interested in what women have to say. His false sense of interest does nothing to convince any woman that he actually cares about what they think or feel. I just get the feeling that he is always planning the next move as if he is in a game of sexual chess. Even his line of “the desert fascinates me” sounds like b.s. His declaration of “social freedom” is so ridiculous that it sounds like a comedy sketch in itself {a parody}. Is Vinnie claiming that social freedom exists when men can touch women at their leisure? I certainly hope not.

My conclusion is that the lady or Karl should be teaching the class on being attractive to women. Karl may not have any “chat-up/pick-up lines” but he knows how to listen to and relate to women; hence he knows how to respect women. Chat-up/pick-up lines are cheesy, to say the least. Authenticity will get you much further than any recycled and contrived chat up/pick up lines will. Karl has the alchemical gold that is missing from Vinnie’s lecture- respect for women.

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What do you think about Karl Pilkington, Vinnie the pick-up artist and the moaning of life episode on marriage?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

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For more information…

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

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

Karl Pilkington The Moaning of Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Peace & Comedic Love…

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Reflection for today…All I Want In This World Is You -Haruki Murakami

29 Jan

“I have a million things to talk to you about.

All I want in this world is you.

I want to see you and talk.

I want the two of us to begin everything from the beginning.” 
Haruki Murakami,   

Norwegian Wood

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Please enjoy All I Need by Radiohead…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9IODJdi3GA

Radiohead – All I Need [live From the Basement]

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Radiohead came to be my favourite band out of all the many bands/artists that I love.

I simply adore them.

My faith in humanity, life and love is restored when I listen to them.

When I watch this video, I am reminded of how much musicians and artists are so necessary in this world. They are vital because they are alchemists who can transform pain and suffering into beauty and enlightenment.

They are also healers that greatly contribute to the healing of the world. 

I have a great reverence for musicians and artists.

They are doctors of the heart and soul.

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For more information…

Haruki Murakami…http://www.murakami.ch/main_3.html 

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3354.Haruki_Murakami

Radiohead…http://www.radiohead.com/

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Peace & Cosmic Love…

Reflection for today…Strength in Solitude -Paulo Coelho

29 Jan

On solitude

by Paulo Coelho

Capture 

“For those who are not frightened by the solitude that reveals all mysteries, everything will have a different taste.

In solitude, they will discover the love that might otherwise arrive unnoticed. In solitude, they will understand and respect the love that left them.

In solitude, they will be able to decide whether it is worth asking that lost love to come back or if they should simply let it go and set off along a new path.

In solitude, they will learn that saying ‘No’ does not always show a lack of generosity and that saying ‘Yes’ is not always a virtue.

And those who are alone at this moment, need never be frightened by the words of the devil: ‘You’re wasting your time.’ Or by the chief demon’s even more potent words: ‘No one cares about you.’

The Divine Energy is listening to us when we speak to other people, but also when we are still and silent and able to accept solitude as a blessing.

And in that moment, Its light illumines everything around us and helps us to see that we are necessary, and that our presence on Earth makes a huge difference to Its work.”

taken from MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

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For more infinite wisdom, please visit Paulo Coelho’s blog: http://paulocoelhoblog.com/

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In solitude we can look within and acquire infinite wisdom.

In solitude we can listen to our intuition.

In solitude we can be truly honest with ourselves.

In solitude we can reconnect with ourselves and our spirituality- our center/core.

In solitude we can reflect, grow and heal.

In solitude we can discover who we are.

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Please enjoy Hope Leaves by Opeth

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KjOhoH0dY4

Opeth Hope Leaves Lyrics
Songwriters: Mikael Lars Akerfeldt
 
“In the corner beside my window there hangs a lonely photograph
There is no reason I’d never notice a memory that could hold me back
There is a wound that’s always bleeding
There is a road I’m always walking
And I know you’ll never return to this place
Gone through days without talking

There is a comfort in silence
So used to losing all ambition
Struggling to maintain what’s left
Once undone, there is only smoke burning in my eyes to blind
To cover up what really happened
Force the darkness unto me.”
Hope Leaves lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
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For more information on Opeth, please visit their official website: http://www.opeth.com/home/
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Peace & Namaste…