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  • Writer's pictureJack Martindale

Spring Philosophising

On this Tuesday, the spring term of my counselling qualification at City Lit College ended. The rounding-off of a term generally brings about a positive sentiment in my beady eyes; completing just about anything that you’ve started has to be a healthy standing point, right?

Even aside from the introspective domain of learning how to be a professional therapist, self-reflection always seems to be something of a hearty attitude. Striking that all too sought after balance of not – especially in my case – being overly self-deprecating [I’m British] or critical, whilst not wishing to come across indulgent. Talking about anything to do with yourself, there are always a plethora of factors to consider; who cares? Is it relevant? Boring? Am I being sincere? Does my audience appreciate or relate? Etc. etc. to just give a couple of examples.

It seems to be the same with anything that you ever attempt. As I’ve added to my life-experience, I’ve just been increasingly convinced, that as you’ll never, NEVER, be truly able to understand the inside somebody else’s head. This is that you’ll never be able to cement ANYTHING that somebody else is thinking without an assumption or even to intricately understand their full frame of reference, it really isn’t even worth paying too much attention! Granted, easier said than done. All the obsessing over what others think seems to do on my part, is to drain mental energy and drain that fragile – unless you are a psychopath – ego that we’re all imbued with. Of course that can only be an assumption, but I think that I’ll be confident take as truth with similar reverence to my feeling that if I go a day without food – on a more physical and nutritional facet - I’ll feel more than a bit peckish.

Anyway, endings of things naturally, always provoke some sort of emotive reaction in however consciously, assessing something. All in all, I came to conclude that in the context of learning, this can always be a more healthy review. Employing some of the old counselling rhetoric, in a more clichéd than esoteric way, this last term went off upon something of a bumpy start. As explored in a former blog that I posted upon this website, I endured the ultimate rejection at the end of my first therapy session of the year, you could say, at my former therapist requesting to sever all future ties and association with me ; his it’s not you, it’s me”, hardly softened the blow! Talk about ultimate rejection.

Simultaneously, I was engaged in the all too desperate hunt for a place aboard an all too sought after and sacred therapy placement. They are gold-dust. Part of me still objects to the fact that the placement is an obligatory requirement, yet securing one is ravenously competitive; like ploughing through the fierce job-market, with the exception being that they’re voluntary i.e. you work for free.

There were then stresses in the beginning of this year. What is life without? The most notable part that I am finding in relation to when I get stressed, is that it automatically transports me towards negative experiences that occurred in the past. Interesting both of the episodes that I am drawn to occurred in the year 2016. Not being able to reason with the people, or to discuss my perception of events in an unbiased and informed way caused me mental discomfort. This is in the sense that after abrupt and significant events have occurred when you have nobody to digest them with, you are left with just a dangerous, along with consuming stewing outcome; drawing assumptions.

I’d not feel comfortable or indeed just, in disclosing the actual events that occurred. In feeling as though people have employed paltry tactics in compensating for their own struggles with their self-worth in attempting to brazenly exert themselves over you can be a struggle. The instinctive response that I adopt to this almost has parallels with some form of yearning for some sort of vengeance.

Eye for an eye is obviously a primitive instinct and can never be achieved with people that you feel are operating on a different hemisphere anyway. As just and truthful as you may feel that you may be in your negative opinions of people, you cannot rely or even wish for them to be shared by others. All of us operating with an exclusive moral compass surely must be appreciated. Accepting that we are never going to be capable of being each other’s cup of tea, is what I believe to be a fundamental part of maturity. Respecting other people’s opinions that may different to your own is a most infantile aspect of conflict that some people never seem to grow out of!

Within my minor conflicts, I do not regret a single thing that I said or did. Instead, I’ve drawn upon them as lessons on being able to confidently assert myself. There is absolutely nothing that these events induce me to change about myself, other than perhaps to become more comfortable at admitting to myself when people have been reduced to using bully-boy tactics against me and to own that they are the true victim. It’s too classic.

To conclude this term ends positively. Pathetic fallacy may soon be taking place in our classic April weather of cold/ sun/ showers, but all is pretty optimistic. Just over two-thirds of my first year of Diploma Level 4 training to become a counsellor and sometimes in the pressurised society that we are part of, it is all too difficult to own when you’re actually achieving thongs and they’re going productively. A though we’re all programmed to believe that somethings inevitably going to just bite us on the arse!

But, the days are getting longer and this is my favourite time of year, so let's just try to be enjoy ourselves and heat up with the year.


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