Writing

Living & Dead Metaphors: Re-Imagining Psychodynamic Theory

An edited extract from ‘Waking Dreams: Imagination in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life’ Part 1: What is Metaphor? Part 2: Freud and the Machine Metaphor Part 3: Living and Dead Metaphors Part 4: Re-imagining Psychodynamic Theory What is Metaphor? The Latin word metaphora means to “transfer” or “carry over” experience from one domain to another. As …
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A Wild Imagination

Wild Imagination is an earthy, untamed imagination. An imaginal perception easily lost, trapped behind the screens of our techno-civilisation. For those who might like to conserve the richness of imaginative life, this article sketches out the identifying markers of wild imagination and discusses assumptions that scare it away. The concept ‘wild imagination’ is my own …
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Wild Reading: Introduction

How does reading fiction work? By what mysterious process does a book come to life in the hands of a reader? And why is this process often therapeutic? Why is life somehow just better when reading a novel or short story and what can be done to enhance this cross-over into everyday living? I imagine …
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A Time Between Stories

A reflection on the personal and collective importance of stories for embracing the challenges of current times, in three parts: Part1: the importance of stories Part2: this is a time between stories Part3: how to find a new story Introduction: In the middle of a conversation, putting-the-world-to-rights, my friend said: “Of course, the real problem …
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A Wild Reading List

While the main requirement for the enhancement of imaginative life is to simply spend time with images – watching sunsets, visiting art galleries and reading novels – it is also beneficial to include some critical reading. This is because reflection upon key questions – What exactly is imagination? How can we imagine more fully? And …
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Wild Imagination

Imagine a broad Highland-river with grey gravel banks, a summer evening stillness of trees. Imagine humid air, a steady murmur of wild water running out to sea. Imagine as if you are a child – a child crouched beside a tidal pool at the river’s edge. Imagine your hand as it reaches out over the …
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Waking Dreams

The following is an edited extract from chapter2 of my book ‘Waking Dreams’: Everyone is imaginative. To imagine is an innate ability that can be enhanced with the appropriate care and attention. What creates the belief of not being an imaginative person is usually the assumption that imagining is a kind of alternate realm separated …
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Image-Centric Psychotherapy

The following is an edited extract from my book ‘Waking Dreams’: While the images found in memories, in-the-moment perceptions, and future fantasies constitute the raw material of any psychotherapy, conventional approaches often treat images as of only secondary importance.  Typically, after a brief description of any such imagery, the therapist will focus upon the feeling …
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Childhood Enchantment

An edited extract from my book ‘Waking Dreams’, from chapter 5 ‘Animistic Imagination’: Animism is the attribution of human qualities and status to non-human creatures, places, and things. While the original coinage by Victorian anthropologists was a pejorative description of the spirit beliefs of so-called primitive people, in recent times animism has been having something …
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