I found the doodling a lot easier, than the thinking, of what to write about this particular subject. So why bother? Well it's a topic that is important to me and for some reason people just don't talk about mental health enough. It should be easy to talk about, well as easy as any other thing, like the dentist. Well unless you are deathly afraid of the dentist, then it will be a little awkward.
The dentist thing stuck with me, it seems appropriate really, as I didn't go the dentist for four years. When I finally went to the dentist, I got a clean bill of dental health (yes perfect teeth for a Brit). I walked away from the dentist office wondering why I had left it for so long. I don't have a phobia of dentists, I just didn't want to pay the check up fee and had no pressing problem. As time went on, I then began to think, what if something is seriously wrong with my teeth? Well I definitely can't afford that. So it was put to the very bottom of the 'to do' pile and forgotten about. Not sure what eventually got me into that dentist chair? One day I just woke up and decided it was something that needed to be done and it was okay.
Whilst being guilty of neglecting myself in the dental sense, I am also guilty of neglecting myself in the mental sense. I found counselling/therapy training by accident, just a daft 12 week course to get my brain ticking over once again. Although I was training to be a therapist/counsellor, the person that was benefiting the most from the course was myself. So I am going to recommend a few books that have really helped me try to explain what this therapy bollocks is all about. It's like taking baby steps to the dentists, you are not quite in the dentists chair quite yet, but at least you are flossing regularly
I read fiction like its going out of fashion, from Harry Potter to the Shipping News. I love getting lost in someone else's world, whether it's a wizard or a weatherman. Books that are in a more educational style, have been known to suck out all the joy of reading for me. So when it comes to writing book reviews, especially for college assignments, I struggled a lot. So these are three books that I really enjoyed despite my reluctance at reading anything remotely therapy like.
Dibs in search of self; This is the tale of a little boy who doesn't talk or play with the other children, he is just in his own little world. The little boy is special, the conversations that he and his therapist have, are very grown up, because he has such a high IQ. But once you get past that, you are left with a sad little boy who doesn't know how to fit into the world of children. The thing I loved the most about this book, was while you read along and see Dibs slowly changing and becoming a happier child, you also long to have that time again as a child. It really highlights the importance of childhood and embracing your own inner child.
Games people play: This book is unusual, because it is totally outdated on one hand and still relevant in the other. You will read it and see many many people from your day to day life, in the scenarios (games) that are mentioned. Whether it be at the playground with the other mums/dads, in work, or at home with your partner. Whilst reading it you realise just how many games you play yourself and how easy it is to let those games take over. I found the whole book absolutely fascinating.
This is the book I wish we had read right at the beginning of our studies.Although I love doodles and cartoons, I have never actually read a whole graphic novel before. Something about that style of book, I have always found hard to follow. This book has broke that barrier, it is easy to read, funny and informative. I sat in the garden, on what now feels like the only sunny day this summer and devoured it. If you have wondered about therapy and how a therapeutic relationship forms, then this book illustrates it beautifully. It shows why therapists asks what they ask and why clients hide what they hide. The story flows along and the accompanying notes, if you read them, add so much more to the book.
So why do I like these books?
Very simply put, in the books, they are the therapists I would like to meet (or be), they entertain, educate, and inform me. My Inner child wants to be Dibs, know that I am loved and that everything will be okay. Grown up me wants to know how people tick, what games they are playing and why they are playing them. Future me wants to be like the therapist in Couch fiction, knows that they are not perfect, but seems really okay with that.
If you read any of these books, or already have let me know what you think of them. If you have any recommendations please let me have them.
Happy World Mental Health Day 2010 xx