The Problem of Internal Sexism

The Problem of Internal Sexism
I mentioned in my previous piece how much importance I give to all subjects and issues concerning equality and discrimination. I am convinced that they are also crucial for a healthy society as a whole – because they concern everyone without exception. Even those who count themselves as part of a “majority” (many of my clients, fellow immigrants, have discovered through their own painful experience how easily one switches from being part of a “majority” to...

Why Transactional Analysis?

Why Transactional Analysis?
I have explained in an earlier piece what exactly is Transactional Analysis. Now I would like to share with you why this specific direction of psychotherapy is so important to me personally and why I chose it for my work – why I found myself responding to it so readily. After all, there are no “better” or “worse” directions in therapy, but there is always something that appeals to us, charges us with energy, makes us tick, vibrates in the same rhythm as ou...

A Relatively Easy Way to Alter the Past

A Relatively Easy Way to Alter the Past
I would like to share with you my thoughts on the spot reparenting technique (and other techniques using the same phenomenon) in psychotherapy. Let us begin with the nature of memories. They tend to be changeable and unstable, and in fact seldom reflect reality. Psychologists and neurologists have discovered long ago that every time we recall a certain life episode, we seem to rewrite it with minor alterations. This may sound like a paradox, but our most t...

The Risks of Openness

The Risks of Openness
A few weeks ago I was weeping bitterly, feeling insulted and misjudged, because of one phrase a total stranger had written to me. I am a psychotherapist, a happy person; I have the full support of my friends and relations, I’ve done four years of individual therapy and I know a number of self-support techniques. But then this was an entirely unexpected blow.It all began when I decided to write an article about strokes (a concept of Transactional Analys...

The Rules of Confidentiality in Psychotherapy

The Rules of Confidentiality in Psychotherapy
Given the recent implementation of new EU data storage regulations and GDPR, this would be the right moment to remind everyone about the principles of confidentiality in psychotherapy in general and in my practice specifically. Some clients study this section of the contract very carefully, while others just glance over it while ticking mentally: “I agree”. I understand that this is every person’s own choice, but I feel it is important for me to explain my...

When Feelings Are Not Rational

When Feelings Are Not Rational
I’m going to be honest here: for me this article is a manifesto inspired by personal therapy (yes, I have a therapist, too). A manifesto about legitimising one’s feelings and accepting all sides of one’s personality.Probably like many others, I tend to use rationalisation as a defence mechanism. To put it simply: sometimes I think instead of feeling.What is the source of this defence? As a therapist, I can answer that it comes from our childhood. W...

Why Optical Illusions?

Why Optical Illusions?
Recently I have noticed an interesting comparison, and I’d like to share with you my thoughts about it.But first let me show you some famous optical illusions. Most likely you’ve already seen them somewhere on the Internet, but let us look at them one more time.For example, here is the well-known illusion of the girl who rotates in an undetermined direction. I recall a number of lengthy discussions, when it first appeared online, as to which way sh...

So You Wish to Be Perfect?

So You Wish to Be Perfect?
I don't care if it hurts, I want to have control. I want a perfect body, I want a perfect soul.(Radiohead)Sometimes it feels as if you’ve got to do everything perfectly – to be perfect, in fact. It’s like a voice ringing in your head: ‘Don’t you dare get it wrong! Surely you’re capable of doing everything right, so go on, seek options, work hard, pay attention, analyse, and obtain the best result!’ So you set to work, and you’re constantly se

So Who Is Happy Then?

So Who Is Happy Then?
A 12-year-old told me recently how the teacher asked her class to think about whether most people on Earth were happy. As a result, the class ended up discussing what is happiness, actually. A difficult topic, apparently, but one relevant to both schoolchildren and adults.I would like to share a theory from transactional analysis, which, in my opinion, tackles this question best.I must start with a disclaimer: we won’t be talking about feeling happ

Questionnaire to Identify Problematic Stages of Development

Questionnaire to Identify Problematic Stages of Development
Is it true that all psychological problems started in our childhood? According to the theory of transactional analyst Pamela Levin, at different ages children face various development challenges that determine the basic needs and behaviours of children. Knowing this, parents can help children develop harmoniously and to perform tasks that are part of these challenges. Unfortunately it is often the case that due to external circumstances, education, or simp...