There is a great deal of pain in life and perhaps the only pain that can be avoided is the pain that comes from trying to avoid pain.

RD Laing


As a therapist, you listen to and observe the distress of others. How people have tried, too many times, and failed to make things better. Over time – in my case 35 years – you see humanity unfolding in front of you: In its shame, its anger, its amazing resilience, and its despair. In this blog, I share with you what I have witnessed and what I have learned over the years: How to make sense of distress, and what to do so that life is not so hard, less daunting, and more gratifying.

My interests span anthropology, child development, education, Jungian analysis, longitudinal cross-cultural research in Psychology, psychotherapy, and systems theory. I have worked as a family, individual and play therapist, I have trained therapists who work with children and families, and worked for most of my life, in community settings. Living in Africa, trauma and grief is part of your daily bread. In my view, all therapy is (also) about grief.

My interests lie in naturally occurring human behaviours (what people do who cope naturally, for example), as demonstrated through longitudinal cross-cultural research, ethnological studies, and my own observations over time. In Psychology it bothers me that mothers are far too often maligned, that fathers and specifically siblings are often marginalized, and that cultural and political factors are far too seldom taken into account.