About

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I’m an American, living in London for getting on for forty years now.

I’ve been a psychotherapist for over thirty of these.  I trained with the Philadelphia Association in London (no association with Philadelphia, rather confusedly — rather a reference to the church at Philadelphia in the Bible that had an “open door”).   The PA is unusual amongst psychoanalytic training organizations in that its course includes reading many philosophers (Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger, Levinas, Plato) in an attempt to encourage critical thinking about  the standard psychoanalytic texts.

Since finishing my training, I’ve worked with individuals, couples and in group settings.  The website for my individual work is http://www.healingconversation.co.uk, and for my couples work, http://www.londoncouplestherapy.co.uk.

For over twenty years, I worked in one of the Philadelphia Association therapeutic communities. I’m now a member of the PA training committee.

I’ve been writing since I was a child.  In 2007, I started writing down stories I told my young daughter at bedtime. These became a book, Boobela and Worm, and then a series, published by Orion.   Boobela and Worm received several picks as best book of the year.  The Times called it “warm, wise and wonderful.”

When the series was finished, I had the idea of writing a blog, a kind of personal meditation on my work and what it means to be a therapist.  I’m a fan of Montaigne’s writings, and though I don’t expect to be in his class, it’s an inspiration.

Writing a blog does raise questions of course.  Most notably, what will I talk about?  Do I have anything to say?

My clients often ask me these, or similar questions, at the start of a therapy.  I sometimes answer, “Let’s find out!”

Thanks to Jean Heydon for permission to use her photo as my header.  http://www.jean-heydon-tookitch.com/zen.html

8 thoughts on “About

  1. kyrielleadelshine

    I think it’s very courageous that you have a blog and inspiring that you do not necessarily buy into every theory you’ve read about it as it relates to your profession. I had/have personal fears, being a bipolar attorney, about how to bridge the gap without damaging my ability to keep paying off these dang student loans. So I go by psydonym for now but hope that I am able, like you, to one day bridge the gap and not have to have parts of me for some and all of me for just a few.

    Happy to have read your post today and your About page. Props to you in the spirit of being who we want to really be, not who we are “supposed” to be, if that makes sense. Thanks ;0)

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Never Put Off ‘Til Tomorrow What You Can Do Day After Tomorrow (Or A Decade Or Two). | Forlorn Hope: A Diary Of A Broken Heart

  3. knace

    So much wisdom in your blog. I’ve enjoyed going back over your earlier posts. I have to digest the information slowly in order for my brain to process it all. I’ve known for a while I could so use the help of a therapist. And you’re right, the Dylan song says it perfectly. Unfortunately, the one time I’ve tried therapy it was very discouraging to me, although my G.P. did tell me the process of finding the right “fit” for a therapist could take a while. I just haven’t had the gumption to go back and start the process again. I’m just waiting for the scale to tip over to unhappiness as opposed to inertia.

    Reply
    1. joefriedman Post author

      Thanks so much for your kind words. It is sometimes difficult to find someone you feel you can work with, and enormously discouraging when you’ve got the courage up to try to meet someone and then find them disappointing. It does take a certain threshold of unhappiness to seek out help. I like the way you express it “waiting for the scale to tip over to unhappiness as opposed to inertia.”

      Reply

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