A Personal Burb:
Born in England and placed into an orphanage he was adopted and initially raised in The Cameroons in West Africa. After taking a post graduate course in teaching Tony’s first job was in a remote bush school in Malawi from 1983-1985. Tony is somewhat of a gypsy having lived in 10 countries on 4 continents. His most cherished accomplishment was having his children; Tayla and Rose, followed by a love of travelling (over 100 countries), playing Neil Young songs on the guitar and banjo and enjoying the company of his horse, Daisy Belle and Asher the golden retriever. He has released a musical CD, Heartache in A Metaphysical World: The Family Tree.
I don’t know how many clients I have worked with but it would be in the thousands. The common thread amongst them is that of suffering. As a therapist and human, I have found my own growth came after experiencing suffering around loss and deep grief. A crossroads arises, when one is in emotional and or physical pain, whereby we can enter the heaviness or lightness of life. (this is certainly the case for me) The heaviness is characterised by needing to control people and situations and forever labelling oneself as a victim of circumstance. Light energy let’s go of any need to condemn or blame and is an acceptance of life in the immediate moment. It is an energy of unconditional love exemplified in the comment of Farid Ahmed, a survivor of the Christchurch mosque massacres, when he forgave the killer, who shot dead his wife (the love of his life) and called this murderer; “his brother” a man who needed his love rather than his hate. Farid spoke at the memorial service and his moving words display deep spiritual wisdom.
“ I don’t want to have a heart that is boiling like a volcano. A volcano has anger, fury, rage. It doesn’t have peace. It has hatred. It burns itself within and it burns the surroundings. I don’t want to have a heart like this and I believe no one does. I want a heart that will be full of love and care and full of mercy and will forgive lavishly…This heart doesn’t like the pain I have gone through…I have chosen peace, I have chosen love and I have forgiven.”
Ultimately, I have found that when we are in contact with our real nature: found in the energetic, eternal and spiritual self as opposed to the human ego, the inability to love self, life and others, stops! Abruptly!
I have been greatly influenced by the work and therapeutic methods of: Dr Fritz Perl’s, the psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded Gestalt Therapy. Psychiatrist Dr Brian Weiss opened my eyes with his past life regression hypnotherapy and his gentle and humane manner highlighting how trauma and patterns are carried over many lifetimes until we incorporate deep spiritual messages. In similar vein the work of psychotherapist Bert Hellinger highlights how intergenerational issues and burdens continue and are repeated in families, countries and institutions until the excluded are brought back and given an acknowledged place in the system and that perpetrator and victim are both needed to restore love. I encourage anyone who has not taken part in a Family Constellation to do so and to be ready for a profound and life changing shift. The work of Eckhart Tolle, a modern-day spiritual leader, incorporates ancient knowledge and shows us the benefits of living in the now. Carl Jung, a founder of psychology was open to the pull of spirit, dreams, serendipity, connection through the collective unconscious and mystical influences upon the psyche.
What I have learnt is that these influences differ greatly from the western based, scientific, analytical and quantitative approaches to mental health. Indeed, an intuitive, energy based and metaphysical approach can be contradictory, paradoxical and mysterious but when approached by the therapist and client from a place of love, respect and courage; deep healing can occur. I know when I put my hands over a client and feel their magnetic field I can clearly differentiate between the state of that energy at the start and at the end of a Reiki or Pellowah session. Healing occurs but its source is far greater than I. I who can hardly comprehend the Universal nature that passes through my hands or when sitting opposite someone, who is in distress, my body phenomenologically feels and mirrors their emotional state (sometimes their thoughts) and the physical aches of that being. In therapy sessions I have frequently felt guided and often wondered where an intuition or a therapeutic word or intervention came from.
We can label and prescribe many mental health conditions and these descriptions, I have found, become stamped and internalised upon one who is in pain as their identity. This is not the case! Indeed! the word temporary madness covers what many of us in mental distress experience. Healing is achieved when deep inner peace is felt despite the external situation. This is the definition of a spiritual intelligence (read my essay on spiritual intelligence). This is my therapeutic goal with clients. To find peace within and from that place comes clarity, compassion and wisdom. This journey to bliss is a lifelong one that requires constant practice and awareness. That is the chief role of the therapist. To bring into awareness that which is often outside one’s comprehension. It is bringing into existence the missing jigsaw piece so that the incomplete is now complete. (My book, 10 Jigsaw Pieces to Wellbeing, initially written for students but appropriate for anyone interested in their wellbeing, is available as an eBook and is free for anyone to access).
My warmest regards,