IoP Supremo Professor Robin Murray is giving a lecture at Gresham Collge, Holborn this coming Wednesday 18th entitled Are normal people sane? I’ve heard Professor Murray talk a few times and he’s a very good orator. This is part of a series of psychiatry lectures, previous ones of which have been streamed. Worth a look is Professor Simon Wessely’s lecture Shock or Cowardice: The Case of Harry Farr
In the past I’ve read and enjoyed several of Alain de Botton’s books. For those of you that haven’t heard of him he’s a sort of peddler of lightweight intellectual self help. But I found myself perusing his website today and unfortuntely he’s dived in my estimations. With some like minded people de Botton has set up a institution called the School of Life, which offers courses on interesting things. So far, so good, but they’ve also got a psychotherapy division about which they have to say:
For the normally reserved British, it [School of Life] must be a first to have an institution that offers therapy from an ordinary high street location and moreover, treats the idea of having therapy as no more or less strange than having a haircut or pedicure, and perhaps a good deal more useful.
The idea that seeking professional psychotherapeutic help for any and all of life’s ills is so oft repeated that is has an empirical force. But imagine for a moment that instead of reading about the UK you were reading about a strange and foreign land where whenever a tribesperson has a difficulty of any sort they paid hundreds of hard to come by shiny pebbles in order to talk to a stranger for one hour, once a week.