I can’t believe I accepted this assignment. Surely any admission undermines my credibility as a psychologist? Or does failure to reveal something denote arrogance, lack of insight or self consciousness with the same implications for reputation and self esteem?
I’m cautious about excessive introspection without some trusted person to offer perspective and balance. I have a dark place inside which at various stages of my life has been occupied by ghosts, daleks and negative emotions.
Somehow I need this place though, to connect me to others especially those who want support with change and containment. In working with people who have mental health needs and substance misuse I use their desire to escape their own dark place to form a connection which, together with the research evidence, best practice guidelines and clinical tools, can accelerate their journey to recovery. Perhaps if I understood myself fully my own journey would be over.
Sue Gardner is a Chartered clinical psychologist and President of the British Psychological Society.
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