20 Chapters
Medium 9781780490670

CHAPTER EIGHT: Growing in relation to money

Murdin, Lesley Karnac Books ePub

This chapter will describe a development in the infant’s relation to the world and to others which correlates to his relationship to money, as he moves from a system of gifts to barter and then to a system of trust and symbolic transaction. In therapy too, the adult progresses through a developmental trajectory towards greater trust and faith in his or her own humanity. She can allow herself to be in another’s debt and becomes able to treat her own debtors with generosity. The new-born infant opens her eyes to a blinding light, noise, and sensations all over her body that are all entirely new. Modern birthing processes allow for a little shielding of the baby from the shock of the first experience of the world outside the relative safety of the womb. Whatever the birth experience, the new-born has more to learn than any adult can imagine. Seeing a child change from the innocence of this first minute to become the standing, walking, individual who is beginning to begin to talk at the end of the first year is one of the most moving experiences of the miraculous that anyone can have.

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CHAPTER NINE: Spendthrift or miser?

Murdin, Lesley Karnac Books ePub

The small-scale exchanges of the infant and young child lead the way towards the exchange economy in which the adult lives. This chapter will concentrate on the external effects of the child’s struggle for control of ingestion and excretion, showing how each person reveals an attitude to holding on or letting go, getting and spending and how that relates to his place in society and the presenting problem that he might bring to therapy. Aspects of the financial markets are an indicator of social attitudes to money as are more intimate relationships with partners and other family members. The mass media are interested in the divorce settlements of celebrities and hold discussions on the rights of spouses and civil partners. Each adult is a potential or actual partner in a relationship of some sort whether in a marriage or at work or within a family.

Ever since Freud published Civilisation and its discontents in 1930, citing guilt and the destructive instinct as the two main forces dominating our social relationships, writers thinkers have used psychoanalytic theory to clarify human and social behaviour. In relation to money and its impact on the individual, social structures are important in reinforcing the guilt that the individual will construct for himself. Freud began this work with a statement about value:

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CHAPTER FIVE: Circumvented

Murdin, Lesley Karnac Books ePub

Alice told Margaret that she was afraid that she was feeling increasingly paranoid. At the very least she was lonely. The Trustees were not with her at all on any of this. “Have they had the chance to be?” asked Margaret. Alice dismissed this. “They could be supportive at any time.” But as usual she found that Margaret’s comment was a germ that grew, multiplied in her head and could not be ignored. She had not given them a chance. She had enjoyed growing more and more bitter and resentful and there was no response from Barbara to make her feel otherwise. In fact, she gave ample opportunity for escalating feelings of powerlessness every time they spoke.

I appointed Lana as the new Fund raiser but then Barbara told me that I should fire her. I declined to do that and that hastened my own downfall. I hesitated, wanting to give Lana another chance. I wanted her to succeed and somehow I thought that Lana must know what to do. “If only I could give her a bit more time,” I thought, “all would be well.” I brooded over the actions of the Trustees and in my imagination wrote many letters to them with innumerable ways of showing how angry I was and how they had made my job impossible. I was by no means reluctant to concentrate on this grievance because thinking about Oliver and possible loss of him was too painful.

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CHAPTER TEN: Who pays for psychotherapy?

Murdin, Lesley Karnac Books ePub

Economic transactions function because I want something which another person possesses and which they will transfer to me if I offer something desirable in return. Whether we like it or not there is a market in psychotherapy, counselling, and psychoanalysis. Because of the vast pit of mental suffering and despair in the community, the services of these professionals are needed. Often these services are needed by those who cannot work or who cannot find the work that they are ready and willing to do and therefore cannot pay for what they need. The usual rules of the market cannot be left to match supply and demand or the most vulnerable will be left without help. There is another area in which this rule does work. This is of course the private psychological therapy offered to those who can afford to pay. As long as there are enough of those people, there will be a supply of trained therapists who can also provide some services through charities and organisations that do not pay them much if anything.

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CHAPTER TWO: Adrift without a compass

Murdin, Lesley Karnac Books ePub

I“ ‘d better begin nearer the beginning” Alice said. And began the story that went on for many sessions, because she found that she enjoyed telling it and she began to realise that she wanted to hear it herself.

I was born in my grandparents’ house in a small town further north. It was a mining village with streets of small terraced houses with back yards that are familiar now in films like Billy Elliot. My grandparents stayed in their house where Grandad also had his doctor’s surgery and, although my parents moved us to very different surroundings, I remember the smell of coal fires and the cracks in the footpaths in those depressing streets. Yet now I come to think of it the streets were not depressing to me then. I skipped over the cracks as Granny took me to the playground. I must have been about four when I first became aware of the joys of Granny’s playground. There was a huge slide which took all my courage to climb. There were boys there, urchins with torn short trousers and full, rich Geordie accents, or rather dialects. I spoke “posh” and wore skirts as little girls did. They threatened to push me off the top step just as I launched myself onto the terrifying shining path that would take me safely back to the ground. I loved it there. Maybe even the sense of danger was part of the attraction.

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