Death of a Psychotherapist and Other Poems

Author(s) : John Woods

Death of a Psychotherapist and Other Poems

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : December 2017
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 58
  • Category :
    Selected Fiction, Biography and Memoir
  • Catalogue No : 40089
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782205845
  • ISBN 10 : 1782205845

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These poems represent the author's experience of severe illness, and near death. The title piece, Death of a Psychotherapist, is a collage of words and images that express the mental fragmentation of that period, as well as the search for meaning and wholeness. Dreams, or hallucinations, were indistinguishable from reality. Thoughts and memories came from other poets, especially the Greek poet C. P. Cavafy, who seemed to be present in these “visions”, and helped symbolise the trauma. The author's final few months as a psychotherapist in a National Health Service clinic had been interrupted by the illness and so his professional identity became a preoccupation. Reflections on the state of the profession came from a new perspective.

The shorter poems came after the acute phase of Woods' illness, which is still the central theme, but as a challenge being met, rather than an overwhelming immersion. They are altogether quieter and more meditative than the long poem, but capture some specific experiences that may be common to those who go through such intense periods of illness and recovery. The poems are followed by a short discussion of their context and process of creation.

About the Author(s)

John Woods is a Member of the British Psychotherapy Foundation and the Institute of Group Analysis, a Consultant Psychotherapist at the Portman Clinic, and works with adults and children who have shown harmful sexual behaviour. He is the author of Boys Who Have Abused: Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Victims/Perpetrators of Sexual Abuse (Jessica Kingsley Publishers), and has also written articles on various clinical topics, dramatic monologues, and full-length plays dealing with psychotherapeutic engagement with trauma and abuse. He has recently written about the harmful effects of unregulated internet pornography.

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