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  • Writer's pictureJack Martindale

“Everybody Loves the Irish”

Updated: Oct 28, 2019

Never have I been so proud to be Anglo-Irish. Admittedly, the ease with which I can be guaranteed to remain a citizen of the EU is a most recent celebration of this dual nationally. Nonetheless, my love for this mixture goes far beyond this fact.

Any sort of nationalism or belief that people are actually particularly different in accordance of any birthright are always creeds that I vehemently distance myself. Furthermore, I’ve always believed that variety is the spice of life and that variation should always be met with positivity.

Last Christmas, my sister bought me one of those MyHeritage kits. The intrigue that I’ve always had in this allowed for me not to undermine Emily’s generosity in the fact that it should have also solved the mystery for herself!

So I sent off a few swabs into deepest darkest Texas. A few weeks later and my DNA results were returned. Whilst overall, I was surprised at how localized (think League of Gentlemen!) my history proved itself – 0.9% West Asian was the most exotic that I seemed to be… Yet I suppose that there’s some traces of Ghengis in us all – and delighted to know that my highest score of 57.8% was Celtic.

Principally, just regarded the whole process as a matter of some interest.

There is some widespread assurance in my findings; especially iven the distaste that I was increasingly feeling towards the world of therapeutic practice that I had become so desperate to join. In previous blogs I have explored the processes of my college and the reasoning towards my view that counselling is not my cup of tea, in that I have come to view it largely as a corrupt pseudo-science that preys upon exploiting the most vulnerable with some phony evangelical nonsense.

In a way that is unashamedly somewhat self-satisfied and smug, I cannot help but take nothing other than sheer delight in the fact that modern therapeutic practice’s forefather Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) stating “[The Irish] is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever.'

Still, good luck to the people that it supposedly works for. Glad that the luck of the Irish does me well enough. My exposure to the world has forced me to have the impression that there is now a preponderance of a post-modern viciously capitalist psyche that everybody must be driven towards fulfilling some higher purpose.

Or in other words often just a vicious cycle of a load of vulnerable and fucked up people propping up another load of vulnerable fucked up people in believing that they are serving some delusional higher calling of their supposed use. It makes me feel sick if I’m honest.

Therapeutic practise is predictably riddled with receiving sufficient painstaking criticism. In light of this, it appears to have succeeded in sanctimoniously marketing itself as something so sacred.

The field is then aware of its fragility. In the non too distant future, I believe that much of current practise will be seen as so anachronistic and corrupt. The example of leeches once being used to cure madness (think George III) naturally comes to mind.

But what do I know? Therapy supposedly works for scores of people far cleverer and astute than myself and I can truly wish them the best of luck. I cannot pretend not to feel blessed to fall as part of a group of people [the Irish] who are recognized as owning the independence of mind not to have to operate along some strata. This is in being free.

People in the counselling field seem so preoccupied with recognizing and then owning their judgement, and then obsessing over the irrelevant, that the entire process is just a waste. No wonder it seems nigh on impossible to find any binding evidence to find that speaking to a professional about your problems is useful in itself. Of course, counsellors can always rest on the over-charred old chestnut that "you just must not be the right fit..." The onus of responsibility is conveniently detached from the one taking, rather than voluntarily parting from their resources.

All too reliant on treating the mundane as profound, whilst barking up of the wrong tree and trusting that you can’t call a spade a spade before one has been presented to hit you right in the face!

The principal reason that I had persevered – no matter how far it strayed from my better judgment – with becoming a therapist was in that I wanted to use my acute experience of a trauma, to be able to help other people.

The world of capitalizing from people coming to me with their problems and belonging to a cult of dubious morality is something that I have now reached a point of being able to rejoice in parting.

Now, I have reached the point of not seeing any of the wealth of time that I have invested in studying therapeutic practice as a waste. There is a copious amount of solace to be had in knowing that you were barking up the wrong tree and altering your path. (always love an idiom!)

It certainly hasn’t been a wasted experience, in light of my new vocation as a support worker for London’s SHP (Single Homeless Project). This is where I can really feel that my intricate life experience of having been inflicted with a severe trauma can be resourceful and worthy in terms of empathizing with the experience of being in a destitute situation. Unlike therapy’s top-down way of manufacturing supposed emphatic understanding.

Here, the struggles that I have found myself can act as a great internal leveller I’m working with the homeless.

This is as opposed to something that I often felt far too gritty and in need of being sanitized to find any space in many therapist’s world of vague rhetoric.

In as much of a minimal way as it may be, I feel that my work at the SHP is contributing something positive to society, as opposed to leading us all further into a black hole of further dependence and self-loathing.

Ultimately, I’ve taken a lot of positive from therapy in terms of learning various techniques to transfer and apply to other situations, with the empowerment that in full confidence know that counselling is a folly in my way of approaching life.

Doing this has only strengthened the confidence that I have of knowing myself and continuing to learn more through actual raw experience, as opposed to some dull pretence of intellectualisation.

I love being able to turn around the negative stereotypes, in confidently disclaiming that I am far too Irish to ever be that stupid!

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