It’s a little later in the year than we had planned … but here goes for the first post to the Prospect Psychotherapy Practice blog. We added this section to our newly launched website so as to be able to bring matters relating to our work to your attention over the course of the year in a more ‘live’ and informal way than other sections of the website permit. We’ll be bringing you links to and comments on interesting articles and podcasts in the various media in relation to counselling and psychotherapy and mental health in general. We also plan to produce our own short ‘talking heads’ videos on the sorts of subjects that grab our attention as therapists in the world we live in today. (More on that in a later post).
I remember (it’s many, many years ago now!) the first time I looked out the window of the practice rooms here at 16 Prospect Road, – then Dubh Linn now Prospect Psychotherapy, – thinking it was such a lovely twist of fate to find myself launching into a life of listening and hearing at this quirky little corner of Dublin 9. Hart’s Corner!
What better title could there be for the intersection of these three roads, – one leading out into the busy life of the city, a main artery pulling the throngs of citizens towards work and school and college in buses and cars and on bikes, to pass on their way the Otherworlds of Mountjoy prison and the Mater hospital, (not all of them destined to avoid a brush with either of these two); another road pulling them in an altogether other direction back towards Glasnevin cemetery and the inevitable end of the line; while a third road shoots off down to the Botanic Gardens, to a blooming haven of peace in and from the city. And at the intersection of the vortex represented by those three routes stood the bridal-wear boutique and the flower shop, the tip of the triangle, unmoving symbol of hope in love in promise and in the future, in an old-fashioned pre-post-modern world.
Was I mistaken to think of it once more then as I had mistaken it as a child, on account of the tantalisingly glamourous shop windows bedecked with tiaras and white gowns and brimming with flowers, always hearing it with child’s ears and so forever more not as Hart’s corner but as Heart’s Corner? If this work that we do in counselling and in psychotherapy can teach us anything at all it is that if anything true can be said about life it is that the heart can indeed find itself cornered, when promise and future and love and work skips a beat, stalls or grinds to a halt. The heart backed into a corner, the heavy heart, the loss of heart, the heart pulled betwixt and between, the heart wrung out with worry, the spinning heart, the sinking heart. Perhaps this is what essentially we are dealing with, when all is said and done, and in spite of our professionalised language and our modern talk of mental health and prescriptions behavioural and pharmaceutical for the problem, when we open the door on Prospect Road to the next suffering subject.
Child, teenager, man, woman, elder citizen, all on our way from somewhere transported towards somewhere else, the maelstrom of life pulsating and imposing upon us the task of negotiating its highways and byways, its arteries. All the while along, life’s great enigmas will have to be addressed. The same old same old ones, even still in this post-post-modern world. Birth Love Work Sexuality Death. In any and all their combinations. And we will sometimes ‘come a cropper’ on the journey.
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Prospect Psychotherapy Practice (formerly Dubh Linn) is a centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy and is a provider of Psychological Services.