Everybody’s blogging – is anyone reading?

As a friend recently opined, “Everybody’s blogging.  Nobody’s reading!”  It strikes us that this may be true in our case.   So, our next step in blogging is going to be reaching out via email to friends, colleagues, clients and other possibly interested parties to let them know about our blog and invite y’all to join us.  If you have been reading, give us a shout (make a comment) and let us know what you think about what we’ve been saying.

Our Vision of the Growth Path

What are the advantages of describing a growth path as moving from Adapted Child to a mature Adult state – in compari son to other, perhaps more familiar, ways of looking at change and growth? 

The first thing that comes to mind is that Adapted Child is synymous with the ways we learned to survive.   Survival is both a personal, individual issues and an issue for cultures and societies.  That is to say that individuals must learn how to adapt in order to survive in our families, culture and society.  At the same time, cultures and societies strive to survive in a world of inter-related, and sometimes competing, cultures and societies. 

The process of moving from and Adapted Child to a more mature Adult state both honors how we have learned to survive and exhorts us to move beyond our survival adaptations.  In order to function well in an increasingly relational and interdependent world, individuals, cultures and societies must be able to value both their own and others’ ways of being.  This is only possible when we can access the most mature, Adult capacities available to us as human beings. 

Thus, one of the advantages of describing a growth path in this way is that it enables us to see individual growth in the context of larger cultural and societal issues.

This is important because what we have classically and historically done for survival, both indivividually and culturally, now is destructive to the very  survival it was intended to ensure.  We now recognize that our old short-term survival strategies are most likely to lead to long-term extinction.  

Another advantage we see to this way of describing growth is that it combines a descriptive with a prescriptive ways of looking at this rich and complex subject.  More about this next time.

The Path of the Happy Misfit

is the title of our book.  In it we address a major crisis of our times.  At a time when the fate of the earth is in the hands of humans to a degree never seen before, we are stuck in a crisis of growth or development as a species.  If we continue down the path our culture  has been travelling, we, and the planet, are likely not to survive long enough for us to evolve further.  Therefore, we believe that being a misfit in our culture is necessary for meeting the challenges of our time.

In order to successfully take on the challenge of preserving the human race and the planet, we must call upon our highest capacities as human beings.  Unfortuately, our culture, and perhaps our species, has not yet evolved to the point of being able to support its members in achieving fully mature human functioning.  Therefore, we must learn to grow beyond the survival strategies that we have learned in our families and our culture. (more…)

We’re writing a book!

  • After 35+ years of working together, we (Mary and John) have decided to write a book.  Now, at last, it seems time to do this.  We realize that we are a “good team” in many ways.  Without John, the visionary, we would never get started.  Without Mary,  the “closer”, we would never finish!
  • Anyway, at first, we planned to call the book, Seeking Wisdom.   More recently, we have come up with the title, Happy Misfits: Living with Wisdom, Compassion and Kindness in a Troubled World – or something like that. 
  • So, why write a book?  And, why is time?  We want to write a book because we think we have something important to say about our journey with psychotherapy as a pursuit of wisdom both for ourselves and for others. 
  • We believe that our long collaboration, including the ways our lives and work have intertwined, illuminates the psychotherapeutic journey in ways that may be useful to others embarking  on this “wisdom path.” (more…)