Sunday, August 31, 2003

Using Movies for Healing and Growth

Cinema therapy can be a powerful catalyst for healing and growth for anybody who is open to learning how movies affect us and to watching certain films with conscious awareness. Cinema therapy allows us to use the effect of imagery, plot, music, etc. in films on our psyche for insight, inspiration, emotional release or relief and natural change. Used as part of psychotherapy, cinema therapy is an innovative method based on traditional therapeutic principles. Even outside a therapist's office, following certain guidelines for choosing films and watching them consciously can support personal and spiritual growth. In the case of long-standing psychological problems this is only recommended in the context of psychotherapy.
Using movies in therapy has been something i have done for many years, but I never thought of it as Movie therapy. I might need to add it to the list of Approaches I use.

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Saturday, August 30, 2003

Raising Doubts About Drugs
Millions of people are signing up for these prescriptions because they are convinced they have a chemical imbalance. But there is not one piece of evidence that can back that up,' said David Oaks, executive director of MindFreedom Support Coalition International, or SCI, an organization of current and former psychiatric patients that organized the strike.
There is no chemical imbalance, people often think there is because they undergo a blood test - this is to check that thatere is NOT an imbalance which should be treated - eg thyroid or diabetes. But perhaps the drugs do have an effect. i work with people who say they have been saved, and with others who say they make it all much worse. The situation is a mess!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003


RSS - A Primer for Publishers and Content Providers You will see an xml link on the left in my weblog. Let me know what happens with it, I really don't have much sense of the point of it. But this primer looks good!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2003

The revolution will be emailed by Russell Brown

NZ Listener
Some magazines are lucky if they define the age; a few actually manage to predict it. Launched in 1993, Wired saw how the future would be shaped by computers, and announced it through the words of Marshall McLuhan: 'Everything is changing: your education, your family, your neighbourhood, your job. And they're changing dramatically.'
This is a review of WIRED: A Romance, by Gary Wolf. amazon

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Neal Stephenson Rewrites History

Wired 11.09:
Stephenson took the time to tell Wired why, if you're a hacker, the 17th century was the place to be.

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Sunday, August 24, 2003

Archetypes, teleology and what is real

Archetypes of Cyberspace is the title of an essay I am writing (still!). The research notes are on this weblog, they are this weblog. I will be doing a more research in the next few weeks if I get the time.

Archetypes and teleology... what *is* an archetype? It means chief type as I understand it, in other words the BOSS. But not the boss of the other types so much as the boss of the phenomena - the architect of cyberspace, the force that governs it, is behind it, whose domain it is. WHO has been building cyberspace?

That question might look to Terence McKenna as if I am thinking of the pioneers of Cyberspace as human receivers of instructions from the spiritual realm - the mushrooms or the aleins telling them what to do. We are TV sets who receive our thoughts from angels etc. I don't think like that.

Even less am I thinking of teleology in the Catholic proof for the existence of God by design - though that might have some mileage in it for me.

In a way I do think in both those ways, but not literally, not ontologically. The world is *as if* there were these daemons running the show. It is best to behave as if there are. This is because there are objective unknowable structures in their depth and detail, that we can participate in only by allowing our own psyche to mesh with those structures but not as machines. In other words to live as full humans who see not just systems. Is fathering the same as being the male in a family syustem... sadly we almost talk like that. Sex education is not education about love. Seeing through the mechaniocal world to the living energy might be hallucination but it is the way to fully participate in life.

This following passage is interesting from Teleology item on Principia Cybernetica because it manages to take the supernatural out of teleology as well as the metaphorical:

Originally, the study of ends, goals and purposes. In cybernetics, the STRUCTURal and organizational conditions for systems to exhibit purposeful behavior, reach goals (see goal oriented), maintain steady states (see homeostasis), survive threats from their environments (see evolution, adaptation), etc. (Krippendorff)
It is the *as if* which cyberneticists leave out that is so important.

One reason is role reversal, we can learn about the world from the inside by being the world, or a 'system' in the world. Role reversal is the ability we have to step into anothers shoes. But we can do this with things and imaginal entities as well as people. As Moreno put it, [1975, p22]

Instead of coming down from the skies, he comes in by way of the stage door. God is not dead, he is alive in psychodrama!

Archetypes are dramatic, imaginal, that is where their power lies, by fully entertaining them we get to know them.

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Following Hermes and Serpents - Archetypes of Cyberspace

fUSION Anomaly Has a quote from Hakim Bey The Obelisk :
It is Hermes who bridges the gap between the metalinguistic and the sublinguistic in the form of the message, language itself, the medium; he is the trickster who leads in misleading, the tremendum that echoes through the broken word. Hermes is therefore political, or rather ambassadorial -- patron of intelligence and cryptography as well as an alchemy that seeks only the embodiment of the real. Hermes is between text and image, master of the hieroglyphs that are simultaneously both -- Hermes is their significance, their translatability. As one who goes 'up and down' between spirits and humans, Hermes Psychopomp is the shamanic consciousness, the medium of direct experience, and the interface between these other forms and the political. 'Hermetic' can also mean 'unseen'.

The full article is here. Also this from Erik Davis, Techgnosis: Myth, Magic & Mysticism In The Age Of Information:

Already in Homer, Hermes is a multitasking character. The figure who flits through the _Iliad_ as a messenger and thief becomes in _The Odyssey_ a guide of souls and a shamanic healer, curing Odysseus from Circe's witchy poison. But the god really doesn't find himself at center stage until the pseudo-Homeric _Hymn to Hermes_, written around the sixth century b.c.e. The poem begins with the nymph Maya, lately loved by Zeus, giving birth to a boisterous child. Leaping instantly out of his crib, the babe Hermes dashes into the outside world, where he happens upon a turtle. He kills the creature, takies up its shell, and invents the lyre, becoming the "first to manufacture songs."

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Saturday, August 23, 2003

I Like This!

Playing around - seeing how the ads work. Let me know what you think.

It is something to learn about! For all its commercialisation it should send ads that are of interest. It could even do that so well that people might like to come here for the ads. I doubt it. But RSS could do that. I have been thinking that RSS is really a form of I like this!. (Our old idea from the ninties) So I am going the get it going, if only as a way of creating TOPICS that I am envious of in Typepad etc.

Notice the thread here in the posts. Email is Dead, Topics, Spam... I think I was wrong to say that the RSS alternative to email is not likely to happen.

It happens like this:

  1. An XML marked up version is created out of my emails.
  2. This puts my emails in a big pile on my machine.
  3. Depending on certain tags, most of that pile goes online with super-secure protection.
  4. Weblogs are created from the pile using certain key words.
  5. Access is set up - for each weblog, anything from public, to family, to self-only.
  6. I allow you to add items to your Weblog using only those items with your name in the to line.
  7. That Weblog is your inbox and with the tags you can create sub-weblogs like folders in an email client.
  8. No spam!

Add a rating tag for I like this! we create taste-pools with our taste-buddies.

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BTW - these are email posts.

The last few posts were all sent by email to the Weblog. I can add that address as a BCC to a private blog, so none of this is too far away for me.

Incidentally, it is the first time I have ever wanted a Decent HTML way of sending mail. Right now this is coming from Homesite via Agent to the weblog.

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Fractal Freud

Found this image while looking for Compressionism. Which is a whole ism about what Stanislav Groff called Systems of Condensed experience. I see it as something Freud named as transference - carry-over. Fractals, a pattern in one time and place resonates with a pattern in another. OK, a very brief post - a big idea.

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What's with the Ads?

Playing around - seeing how they work. Making money :) Let me know what you think.

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Friday, August 22, 2003

Unspoken of Groups

This is from a thoughtful item by David Weinberger:

I have two premises today. The first is that groups are really, really important. I believe they're what's driven the public passion for the Net from the beginning. But I suspect I don't have to talk you into seeing the value of groups.

Second, the Net is really bad at supporting groups. It's great for letting groups form, but there are no services built in for helping groups succeed. There's no agreed-upon structure for representing groups. And if groups are so important, why can't I even see what groups I'm in? I have no idea what they all are, much less can I manage my participation in them. Each of the groups I'm in is treated as separate from every other.

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Email Dead?

Many-to-Many - a post by Ross Mayfield quoting many other items on the subject, claiming RSS is a better group tool. I doubt it myself as it is just not ubiquitous enough.

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The ONLY SPAM solution: MONEY

BRAIN WAVES: neurons, bits & genes:
Only money can eradicate spam. The Internet is a globally distributed ecosystem complete with evolving organism/organizations that continuously adapt to change. The current spam epidemic is proof. Moreover, no legislative or technical solution (i.e. filters) will be able to stop it. Why? Because spam is fundamentally an economic problem.

Nice item with a great idea from Zack Lynch on the Corante website - which filters news - is a weblog? With various subsections including the Many-to-Many which is good on groupware.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2003

New layout live!

Psychotherapy Online Home Thanks again Josh and all those who commented and tested it.

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Mena Tripp's weblog

Not A Dollarshort All my focus on design of late has alerted me to Mena Tripp and TypePad. Her work has a nice touch. I am envious of the topic setup in TypePad. I'd like a Books version of Psyberspace.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Weblog Layout Done!

I am very pleased with the layout at this point. I'll call it version 3.00 With a lot of help from Josh Campbell (thats him on the right) of Zype I have got the CSS the way I want it and the layout images right. I have done an extraordinary amount of tweaking to get the black borders here to work with blogger... Black borders you ask? In Mozilla this weblog is 800px wide and centered. That is a reasonable width to read any single column of text IMO. IE does not have max-width working so it fills the window. I might still put it in a box on IE, not sure. For now its done.

ON to finalise the rest of the website!

Thanks Josh, and everyone else who watched me agonise over this.

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Less is More ... The Art of Clean Language" by Penny Tompkins and James Lawley

Clean Language

Clean Language Questions

The aim of Clean Language early in the process is to allow information to emerge into the client's awareness by exploringtheir coding of their metaphor.

Let's revisit the above example, this time using Clean Language questions:

    Client: I'm stuck with no way out.

    CLQ: And what kind of stuck with no way out is that stuck with no way out?

    Client A: My whole body feels as if its sinking into the ground.
    Client B: I can't see the way forward. It's all foggy.
    Client C: Every door that was opened to me is closed.

This gives the client maximum opportunity to describe the experience of 'stuck,' and therefore to gather more information about their representation of the Present State.

OK this is full of NLP jargon, but I like the idea of accurately reflecting and probing the situation at the same time. Also I like the idea of how this leads to the client's own metaphors. In other words it is about holding off on the empathy and sticking to the image.

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links for a rainy day

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Terence McKenna Land

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Sunday, August 17, 2003

Freud's century: Priscilla Roth

Another article from BPAS this a journalistic one about psychoanalysis is readable and broad enough to include all depth psychology. Here is one paragraph:
And yet in any of the recent millennium lists of the greatest thinkers of the 20th Century, Sigmund Freud, the Viennese medical doctor who was the discoverer and founding father of psycho-analysis, is always among the top few. And these same, sceptical, no-nonsense citizens entirely accept and are often guided by ideas and attitudes that come directly from Freud, or from later psychoanalytic writing. For instance, everyone knows what a Freudian slip is, i.e. the sudden 'accidental' betrayal of a person's true thoughts, unthinkingly blurted out from his or her unconscious. Indeed, the very idea of an unconscious from which such personal truths might spring is a psychoanalytic concept. As are 'ambivalence' (as in 'I have ambivalent feelings about him'), 'sibling rivalry', 'neurosis', and 'Oedipus complex'. At the end of the twentieth century, we all speak Freud.

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Paul Williams: Paper on Information Technology

BPAS: is good to talk, of course; but it's best to talk face to face.
Prof. Paul Williams, Anglia Polytechnic University

The item is a bit bland but makes some interesting points - mostly about addiction - and I find the closing remark not so much wrong as a futile comparison. I'd say letter writing has undergone a revolution, and that is the point to get.

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Daniel Pick on the unwritten history of English psychoanalysis

Found the movie stuff in the previous item from the Guardian Item: Guardian Unlimited Books I am making a note here to go here after the 28th. :
Daniel Pick is a psychoanalyst and professor of cultural history at Queen Mary, University of London. His most recent book is Svengali's Web. Bloomsbury and Psychoanalysis, an exhibition of photographs and documents, will appear on the website of the British Psychoanalytical Society at, from August 28.

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Psychoanalysis and Cinema

British Psychoanalytical Association Be interesting to be part of the discussions, but for the rest of us it is at least a good list of video picks.

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Friday, August 15, 2003

Brian Turner


The barn roof needs painting
and the spouting is ruined.
Likewise the roof of this house
in which we live, borer here,
rot there. Iím neither handy
in the great Kiwi DIY tradition,
nor monied, which rather leaves
us up shit creek without a shovel.
I grub to find what Stevens called
the Ďplain sense of thingsí
and come up empty-handed
more often than not, but
Iím a dab-hand at recognising,
if not suppressing, self-pity,
and I can back a trailer
expertly, so all is not lost.

Best New Zealand Poems 2001

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Thursday, August 14, 2003

The Fifty Minute Hour: A Collection of True Psychoanalytic Tales

fifty-minThis book by Robert Mitchell Lindner, Jonathan Lear (intro) from the reviews this sounds like a classic - written in the 60's. I was interested to hear in an Amazon review:
This book is particularly interesting in light of Gene Brewer's novel (and now film) "K-PAX", based on "The Jet-Propelled Couch" episode in this book.
I quite liked the film but not as much as the similar "Man Facing South East".


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Sunday, August 10, 2003

Can the psyche be treated without considering the spirit?

Philadelphia Inquirer | 08/10/2003 | :
"Evoking the Greek word psyche, which means 'life, spirit, soul, self,' he writes, 'etymologically, culturally, and ethically, psychiatry means 'healing the soul.'... That can never be answered simply by prescribing an alteration in brain chemistry.'

Frattaroli defines the soul not so much in Judeo-Christian terms but by combining Freud's ideas with insights from Plato and Rene Descartes.

For him, the soul is 'the experiencing self' or the 'seeing I' - it's the self-awareness always present in the background when we have specific thoughts and feelings. He describes it as a dynamic force that 'integrates processes happening at four levels of experience: body, brain, mind, and spirit.'"
An interesting newspaper article - partly because Tirdad Derakhshani, the author refers to a book I am now interested in by Frattaroli.

Did some more surfing:

An interview with Elio Frattaroli Re-Introducing the Soul I like what he says here, it is a well put case, much in the way I think of the question of medication and psychotherapy, a quote follows:
The Psychotherapeutic Model is based on the idea that it is through inner conflict that we grow. Even though inner conflict leads to painful emotions and to disruptions in social functioning, which can look and feel like illnesses, it also offers an opportunity for growth. Of course the ideal is to have both models in mind. You canít have just a growth philosophy that ignores the need for stability but you can have a stability philosophy that ignores the need for growth; however it is very limited. As I understand and practice it, the Psychotherapeutic Model takes both models into account.

I am very much in favor of using medications in certain situations. Medication can be necessary and helpful as long as it is used within the larger context that respects not only the chemical and stability aspects of illness but also the emotional-existential aspects and the need for growth.
He has a book on the subject:

Here is what one reviewer says of it:
A Wonderful Companion to the Psychoanalytic Process, May 27, 2003
**** Reviewer: John from Miami , FL United States
I had been immersed in the psychoanalytic process for over three years when I came across this book. Having experienced, first hand, the soulful aspects of analysis, both pleasant and painful, I connected instantly to Dr. Frattaroli's accounts of his work with patients. I am convinced that the only sane and solid path to emotional well being is the long, introspective one described so eloquently in this book. If you have ever considered beginning psychoanalysis (or you are simply interested in learning more about what it means to be fully human) then I strongly recommend that you read this book.

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GM Resource This is the statement that appears with my listing in the GM directory. Here is the psychodrama statement in full:
Psychodrama is an active method that enlivens and promotes learning and health. It combines practice, enactment and role development. When used as psychotherapy the relationships and the individualís way of being are immediately available. In community and organisational settings people can explore together relationships, social structures and challenges to anticipate, plan and co-produce effective courses of action.

Psychodrama includes all of the theories, action methods and techniques that derive from the work of Dr Jacob L Moreno (1889-1974). Training in these methods is achieved through an integration of theory and practice by a process of supervised experiential learning.

Those who complete this training will have been assessed and certificated by The Australian and New Zealand Psychodrama Association as either a role trainer, sociometrist, sociodramatist or psychodramatist.

The role trainer focuses on the development of specific aspects of the functioning of another person. A role trainer is experienced in role analysis and therefore assesses which roles are present or absent in a personís repertoire. A role trainer is skilled in mobilising the spontaneity of the group and the individual to produce new responses. New responses become the basis of new roles. Role training, when skilfully done, assists in providing new behavioural options as well as a new experience of self.

A psychodramatist is a director who is concerned with group and individual psychotherapy, group process, and individual personality change. The emphasis is on personal development and thus there is a focus on developing adequate purposes and goals for living. An assessment is made with the client of their functioning and work in action is done to heal and repair their way of being in the world and so bring about more adequate responses to themselves and to others.

Auckland Training Centre for Psychodrama.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2003

The first web page I ever saw

The Couch This page is the first page i ever saw on the www. Perhaps 1994?

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Tuesday, August 05, 2003


The highlight is finding this: nzepc - new zealand electronic poetry centre There is a range of poetry there, some audio files - I downloaded some mp3s by Fairburn. The site's layout and design is supurb. This image is one of a series that rotates somehow as one clicks on the site:

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Fairburn artist as well as poet.

NZEPC - A.R.D (Rex) Fairburn

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Browsing second-hand bookshops

Bruce Mason reading aloud from one of his plays, 1940s

New Zealand literature in the 1940s and 1950s

I browsed second-hand bookshops during lunchtime today and looked at the NZ literary shelves. Picked up Denis Glover's collection of ARD Fairburn at Smith's. Followed up tonight with a bit of surfing and found this rather nice site, with some beautiful black and white photos (RAK Mason above) and interesting articles - such as the one this links to which places the book I bought today in context:

The 1930s saw the emergence in New Zealand of a new breed of writers, whose work usually embodied a reaction against established ideas and conventions. Often these writers were influenced by recent trends in literature overseas, notably modernism; and by social and political events such as the Depression. A growing, if narrow, sense of nationalism was expressed, focussing on the dilemma of Pakeha who still looked to England as 'Home', but increasingly identified with New Zealand through ties of kinship and daily experience. Some major literary figures of the thirties, including short story writer Frank Sargeson, poets Allen Curnow, A.R.D. Fairburn, Denis Glover and R.A.K. Mason, and Glover's printer associate Bob Lowry, remained active in the 1940s and 50s.

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Sunday, August 03, 2003

Myths about Online Psychotherapy

International Society for Mental Health Online - CCSG: Myths and Realities of Online Clinical Work Very well done. Michael Fenichel again and also John Suler are on the team. See also this Cast Study Group.

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Principles - and some links to Michael Fenichel

International Society for Mental Health Online - ISMHO/PSI Suggested Principles for the Online Provision of Mental Health Services An important and useful document. A later version? Easier to navigate, but may not be authorised by International Society for Mental Health Online.

I notice Michael Fenichel, see previous post, is involved with this. I checked out his home page and found it useful: Fenichel's Current Topics in Psychology - Online Therapy This article by him looks good. Online Psychotherapy: Technical Difficulties, Formulations and Processes.

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The Here and Now of Cyberspace

This is good article by Michael Fenichel, Ph.D.
Many counselors and psychotherapists, including those who meet with clients online, rely on close analysis of interpersonal dynamics between therapist and client, using the 'here and now' of that particular session. Surely this now happens, not only through the use of chat rooms replete with emoticons, but also through the familiar e-mail letter exchange, which (particularly with groups) may become part of a continuing subject 'thread' focused on specific issues. Many deeply meaningful and powerful relationships can be formed and/or maintained via the written letter. It may be 'asynchronous' communication, but it still is experienced as 'here'.

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References for Psychotherapy Online

A list of References but unfortunatly not with hyperlinkds to online items. There is an NZ one:
Christensen, H., & Griffiths, K. (2000). The Internet and mental health literacy. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 34, 975-979.
and a recent one book that sounds good:
Colon, Y., & Friedman, B. (2003). Conducting group therapy online. In S. Goss & K. Anthony (Eds.), Technology in counselling and psychotherapy: A practitioner's guide (pp. 59-74). Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. amazon
Here is another useful list of references: The Psychology Of The Internet: Recommended Books

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