A series of short articles on everything, from practical ways of getting things done, to how to handle your feelings and find peace in a hectic world.

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97. Compassion

I had a lot of responses to my last email, on powerlessness, it seems that it struck a chord with many of you. So it is partly for that reason I'm following it up, Powerlessness Part Two if you like, and partly because there's something that we all need in order to tolerate powerlessness, and that is compassion for ourselves. 'What if, instead of being born to nice middle class parents who valued education and decency and order, I had been born to an east end gangster who stole, murdered and beat up my mother? Who would I be now, do you suppose?' So began Paul Gilbert, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Derby, at his one day workshop on compassion-focussed therapy.

96. In Praise fo Powerlessness

Those of us who are attracted to the caring professions tend to be fixers. Most of us will have played a caring, responsible kind of role with our families and friends, so becoming a doctor, nurse, therapist etc feels like simply an extension of what we've always done. Needless to say, the word 'powerless' is anathema to us. It is not in our vocabulary. There is no problem, big or small, that cannot be fixed - if we have so far failed to fix a problem, it is only because we have not yet found the right approach. If you're ready to discover that you might be deluded about this, read on! It's little wonder that we have a bit of a reaction to the word 'powerless' - look at the definitio