Sacred Disorder | Cliff Bostock's blog – 'Finally, I came to regard as sacred the disorder of my mind' (Rimbaud)

Archive for the "psychology" Category

How I avoided the cosmetic surgery called tattooing

When I was a kid, I received almost weekly instruction from my mother never to get a tattoo.  It was one of  many things she deemed “hideous.”  She most often issued the edict as we passed a trailer park on the way to her sister’s cabin on the Catawba River, not far from our home […]

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Broken-hearted, lost in a labyrinth, encountering angels

PSYCHOLOGICAL LIFE  begins in the imagination. That’s one reason I have a sign in my office, dangling from the mantel, that asks clients if they have a dream to share or if something unusual happened since their last session. The latter — odd, sometimes surreal experiences — often communicate at great depth what is going […]

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David Brooks “gets” that psychiatry is an art, not science

I’m not a big fan of David Brooks, to say the least. He frequently writes about cultural concerns that have been around for years. Fine. But, as Christopher Lane has observed, he comes across as if he’s sharing revelations that were unknown until he turned on the light of his own brilliance. His May 27 […]

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Synchronicities bombard me on my 30th anniversary without a cocktail

I’ve had a mind-blowing series of synchronicities in the last few days. I’m talking the kind of experiences that remind us that there is a world of “invisibles,” whether literal or imaginal, that can draw us toward the truth we are actively or unconsciously avoiding. Synchronicities are acausal and nonlinear. I apologize if the telling […]

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‘I thought I was the only one’

A popular criticism of psychotherapy is that “just talking” is of little value. To some extent, I share that belief. But it’s often a shock of great value to clients to learn they are “not the only one” who grew up feeling different. When that feeling of difference is accompanied by shame, it can alienate […]

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An unearthed poem

I’ve been going through my files lately and came across this (kinda-sorta) poem I wrote  8 years ago or longer. I decided to post it here (a) to keep a record of it and (b) to remind myself how indebted I am to James Hillman, who died a few weeks back. The repeated phrase, “the […]

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If you compulsively shop on the Internet, you need help

James Hillman complained frequently that psychology has become “de-souled” through medicalization. This actually began almost as soon as Freud published his first work. Freud knew that in order for his theories to be taken seriously, they had to be scientific in their presentation. But privately, he admitted his work had more in common with the […]

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Remembering James Hillman

(NOTE: I have done some editing since first posting this.) James Hillman, whose work I have long regarded as my  principal intellectual inspiration, died Thursday, Oct. 27. The New York Times published his obituary with this opening paragraph: James Hillman, a charismatic therapist and best-selling author whose theories about the psyche helped revive interest in […]

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Policing cyberspace, policing the psyche

I was recently referred by a client to a year-old New York Times article about images and the Internet. The article, “Policing the Web’s Lurid Precincts” by Brad Stone, specifically deals with how “depraved” images affect the people that sites like Facebook hire to constantly review their content. Patricia Laperal, a psychologist, interviewed members of […]

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A Jungian in Hollywood

My main work in the psychology field has been working with blocked artists of all kinds. It’s difficult work, not least because the block is so painful. By the time most get to me, they have developed an elaborate system to avoid the pain — like drinking, having lots of sex and innumerable other compulsive […]

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