Author: Galapo12

Know Yourself-Love Being Yourself-Don't Lose Yourself-Make the World Better

Is there such a thing as truth?

Q. If i have my truths and another person has their truths which do not correspond with mine, does that mean there is no such thing as truth? If beliefs can be shown to be true or not true, what is truth? ..and how does the truth differ from my truth? People will always claim…
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The mom who remembered

I had known Lisa for nearly three years. There were two counsellors at the school but as luck would have it she had been in my Xgroup (the thing formerly known as Guidance classes) every year so far. She was a quiet child who it seemed chose not to always express herself in the group.…
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Jewish Life Article

School in Harare was a disaster for Julian Leon educationally and psychologically. So it might seem strange that he went on to spend nearly 20 years working at a school as a counsellor helping to develop the inclusive education programme at Herzlia. “Herzlia however,” he says “is more than a school, it is community and…
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So! Are you the scientific (scientistic) psycho- technician, the eschatological secular priest or the abundant and abundant teacher coach

I am reading an article by Greenberg on Emotion Focused Therapy. He introduces the Principles of Emotional Intervention of EFT, explains that experiencing transforming and making sense of emotions is what causes change and then adds at the end of the paragraph that…”it is important to note that these principles are discussed below in relation…
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One man’s bullshit is another man’s pâté de foie gras

A friend was recommended, pressured in my view, to do a life altering personal change weekend recently. The promise was that you will never be the same person again…just give us two days… and a few thousand rand! I am gratified to report that the person is exactly the same person they were prior to…
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How many worlds do you live in?

“I have never been aware before how many faces there are. There are quantities of human beings, but there are many more faces, for each person has several. Rainer Maria Rilke Rainer Maria Rilke- Poets.org  http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/295 A friend of a friend once proposed a toast to his wife on the occasion of her birthday. To the…
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Advances in Medicine

Scientist: We’ve grown a nearly full human ‘mini brain’ – CNN.com http://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/06/health/pioneers-brain-organoids/index.html Parkinson’s stem cell ‘breakthrough’ – BBC News http://www.bbc.com/news/health-29935449


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96, 97, 98, 99, 100…ready or not, I’m coming…..out!

There have been two people who chose to tell me (separately) that they were gay; in fact it sounded more like a question than a statement. It was the first time each of them had disclosed this hitherto unrevealed fact to anyone other than themselves. Diana Ross I’m Coming Out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoRBFNOgeHw From the look on their faces I sensed that…
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Life, life is a verb, life is a doing word

I have a friend who did the clinical masters with me, Margaret. After seeing a client for therapy she would very happily trot out of the room nodding her head slowly, reassuringly saying, “There’s movement, as long as there is movement, its good”. Years on she specialises in ‘stuck’ complex issues. Tear drop lyrics – Massive…
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And the prize for having green eyes goes to…

Returning to the beginning for just a minute; after all the parental lobbying, meetings, discussions and arguments one day the staff were informed that the school was now an inclusive school. This immediately evoked an intense reaction from teachers and parents. Amongst many objections we heard the following…. This is a school for normal children,…
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The messages we get in life

It is impossible to not send messages; we are all communicating all the time with or without words, directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, with awareness or without awareness. The issue is that for some people the words that they hear said about them may not appear to have any negative effects; we are all…
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Repairing the world

Tikkun Olam It is said that the creation of the world was left incomplete, this was done we are told to allow each of us to help complete creation by our constructive actions. Whether one subscribes to that perspective or not few would argue that the world needs as much help as possible. The world…
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Always pay it forward in some way…

Farginen “Yiddish has a very special verb, unknown to most other languages: farginen. It means to open space, to share pleasure; it is the exact opposite of the verb to envy. While envy means disliking or resenting the happiness of others, farginen means making a pact with another individual’s pleasure or happiness. This unique word…
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Free Business and Entrepreneurial Skills

Starting a Small Business in South Africa http://southafrica.smetoolkit.org/sa/en/category/2951/Starting-a-Business 10 Amazing Free Online Business Training Resources for Freelancers – Freelance Folder http://freelancefolder.com/free-business-training/ 100+ Free Online Business Courses & Certificates at MOOCS | OnlineMBAPage.com http://onlinembapage.com/awesome-free-online-business-courses/ Businessballs free online learning for careers, work, management, business training and education. http://www.businessballs.com/ Free business and enterprise skills online courses | ALISON …
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The Beauty of Music

“If music be the food of love, play on, Give me excess of it; that surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die”. Duke Orsino Twelfth Night: Entire Play http://shakespeare.mit.edu/twelfth_night/full.html Self-taught pianist Lucas Debargue scales heights of success – BBC News http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34655420 Guitar Chords with Chordbook.com.  Guitar chords you can hear! http://chordbook.com/guitar-chords/ 10 Sources for Free Online Music Courses http://study.com/articles/10_Sources_for_Free_Online_Music_Courses.html…
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Meditation & Focusing

Meditation is a behavioural technique to slow down the level of nervous system arousal and excitation in the body and induce a relaxed physiological state, no more or less. The fact that meditation is sometimes frowned upon because of perceived theological or spiritual associations can result in the loss of a remarkably powerful and easy…
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Critical Thinking & Philosophical Skills

Skillful Thinking :: An Introduction to Philosophical Skills http://www.hsrcpress.ac.za/product.php?productid=2041&cat=8&page=6  


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Psychotherapy links

Resources for Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy ISTDP Institute http://istdpinstitute.com/resources/ Psycho-dynamic therapy has been caricatured as navel-gazing, but studies show powerful benefits. Getting to Know Me. Jonathan Shedler http://www.jonathanshedler.com/PDFs/Shedler%20Scientific%20American.pdf Karen Horney’s Vision of the Self. Essays & Excerpts, International Karen Horney Society IKHS http://plaza.ufl.edu/bjparis/ikhs/essays/paris_self.html   Learning from a Person’s Biography: An Introduction to the Biographical Timeline Process. Beth I. Barol, MSW, PhD (2001)  http://www.nasddds.org/uploads/documents/Barol_Beth_I__-2001-__Learning_From_a_Personi%CC%81s_Biography-_An_Introduction_to_the_Biographical_Timeline_Process.pdf Lives Transformed:…
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Liquorice allsorts: The varieties of being human

The basis of inclusion, whether pertaining to the psyche, the family, the school, the community or the nation is the reality and importance of diversity. The natural diversity we find inherent in being human, in humans and the human experience. It is how this issue is dealt with that determines whether inclusion of the diverse…
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How can you know what the child is if she hasn’t emerged yet?

She told me how a couple, friends of hers; newly married had decided that they were going to raise their children “gender free”. As I understand this, it means that they will attempt to raise their children not as boys or girls but as whatever they want to be, free of all biological and or…
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It’s just your opinion…

Soapbox…What you stand on when you give a speech.  The popular term relates to someone being on his soapbox, meaning that they are expressing their opinions openly.


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What is the weight of your burden?

We all live with burdens of some sort. They may be large or small; they may impact on our daily lives or not so much. We may know exactly where they come from or maybe not at all. Some examples of burdens that people come to realise they carry in their lives.


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50 Mission Statements from Top Non-profits

TED: Spreading Ideas. (2 words) Smithsonian: The increase and diffusion of knowledge. (6 words) USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families. (9 words) Livestrong: To inspire and empower people affected by cancer. (8) Invisible Children: To bring a permanent end to LRA atrocities. (8) The Humane Society: Celebrating Animals, Confronting Cruelty. (4) Wounded Warrior Project: To…
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My Mission Statement

TED: Spreading Ideas. (2 words) Smithsonian: The increase and diffusion of knowledge. (6 words) USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families. (9 words) Livestrong: To inspire and empower people affected by cancer. (8) Invisible Children: To bring a permanent end to LRA atrocities. (8) The Humane Society: Celebrating Animals, Confronting Cruelty. (4) Wounded Warrior Project: To…
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The Cast of Characters

Let’s pretend that your life is a dramatic play. List the cast of characters, of course there is you (the person reading this) as well! Try and list each and every cast member from the most obvious to the most obscure and subtle, from the strongest most dominant to the weakest most quiet and submissive,…
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My Ethical Will

I,  being of sound mind and disposing memory and not acting under duress or undue influence, and fully understanding the nature and extent of all my property and of this disposition thereof, do hereby make, publish, and declare this document to be my Last Will and Testament, and do hereby revoke any and all other…
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What turns you on?

What turns me on…that’s a rather personal intimate question don’t you think? We hardly know each other! We haven’t even been on a date yet! You’re right so please forgive me for crossing the boundary! I hope that your sex life with your partner is fulfilling and turns you on but that is not the…
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Have I met them?

I’ve never met a black person I’ve met a light brown person I’ve met a deep dark brown person I’ve met a person with a yellow hue But I’ve never met a white person I’ve met a person with a splodgy pink and beige colour To be fair I’ve met a splodgy pink and beige…
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The perfect maze

It is exceedingly difficult to navigate this particular maze. It is very well built. A great deal of effort and a complex understanding of deviousness have gone into the making and maintenance of this dastardly labyrinth.   To say that one can easily become lost in this maze is a serious understatement; It is designed…
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Invitation to battle

31 Dec 2009 It is an invitation to battle. So I am lying in bed enjoying the pleasant drowsiness of nearly falling asleep; the semi psychotic hypnopompic or is it hypnagogic (?) state when out of nowhere screams the noise of a motorcycle booming like thunder in the road downstairs. It is a noise that…
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I wanna be them!

I wanna be them! One day a person was sitting on the stoep on a glorious sunny and windless Cape Town day, agitated and dissatisfied. The person was talking to someone who was very close and dear to them. “I know that I’ll be happy if I could be them,” the person said pointing to…
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You can be whatever you want to be?

I used to run guidance classes at the school with the kids. I was always intent on pushing the issue of knowing yourself. As part of my attempts to “disturb complacency”, a pivotal concept I was fortunate enough to have learned from Jan Darsa when she visited the school. Jan Darsa | The Covenant Foundation…
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I look, this is what I see

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see” Henry David Thoreau I do psychology that is one of the things I do amongst many other things. I try with conscious intent not to say that I am a psychologist (although I often forget to stick to that resolution; I also often…
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Film-making skills online

Free Online Courses for Aspiring Filmmakers http://nofilmschool.com/2011/04/free-online-courses-aspiring-filmmakers 20 Free Online College Film Courses | FilmmakerIQ.com http://filmmakeriq.com/2012/09/20-free-online-college-film-courses/ List of Free Online Film Courses and Learning Materials http://study.com/articles/List_of_Free_Online_Film_Courses_and_Learning_Materials.html Best free video editing software: our 20 top programs of 2015 | TechRadar http://www.techradar.com/news/software/applications/best-free-video-editing-software-9-top-programs-you-should-download-1136264 10 Resources for Filmmakers Online! – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIHDj5NopnU 10 Filmmaking Sites You Should Be Reading…
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List of 40 Free Educational Websites

ALISON– over 60 million lessons and records 1.2 million unique visitors per month COURSERA– Educational website that works with universities to get their courses on the Internet, free for you to use. Learn from over 542 courses. The University of Reddit– The free university of Reddit. UDACITY– Advance your education and career through project-based online…
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Winners and losers

I would walk a mile for supportive education. It’s really meaningful to me. The sense of importance attached to this idea probably emerged as a result of my experiences at school…unsurprisingly. I Would Walk a Mile for a Camel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIxtnMfCURs Widow of Marlboro Man Sues – Chicago Tribune http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1996-09-13/news/9609140118_1_marlboro-man-lung-cancer-philip-morris When I graduated from primary to…
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“Educate (and raise) each child according to their way”

We managed the inclusive and supportive education programme at the school. There were many miracles that we saw at school over the years. By miracle I don’t mean that there was a divine or supernatural component, I am open to that kind of experience but other than being open I have no way of knowing…
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The irate game ranger’s mother or the best thing we can do for our children.

As the counsellor at the school each year for the new generation of grade 9 kids we spent time working on subject choices for matric. Over the years I had embarked on a number of approaches in dealing with subject choice. Initially I would arrange for representatives from the University of Cape Town, Cape Technikon…
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Supportive education

I am on LinkedIn. I subscribe to two groups Special Education Needs and Inclusive Education. I don’t like the terms special education, special needs, inclusive education, exceptionalities etc. I know what they mean but I also know what they really mean. However well-intentioned the advocacy is these words ultimately result in the separation of us…
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We use the same language but do we understand each other?

Q. I get the impression sometimes that communication/language between people is a hit and miss affair and could go very wrong. We all use the same words and assume that we share and understand the meaning in the same way, that we actually understand each other. Is this correct to assume? A. It is not…
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Is there a place for emotion in philosophy?

Q. Is there a place for emotion in philosophy or is it rejected as being not rational? If so what should people do with their powerful emotions? A. Let’s address the second question first. Philosophers try to understand things. So a philosopher will try to understand emotions; but it isn’t at all clear that a…
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Are we free?

Q. We are told constantly by self-help gurus (and others) that we are free, just freely change, your beliefs, your thoughts, your behaviour? You have the power. I’m not so sure…it doesn’t always feel or look like that is true. Is a mother raising kids in a shack home free? To accept her lot? Are…
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Traditional Burnout Recipe

TRADITIONAL BURNOUT RECIPE (Also known as Compassion Fatigue Pie in northern climes). This recipe has been a secret for many years but is shared here for all to enjoy. Some ingredients and preparation methods may vary from chef to chef. Bon appetit! Serves many people including spouses and dependents…


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I’ve been offered weed…is it safe?

Q. I have been offered weed by close friends at school, grade 8. Lots of my friends use it, lots of parents don’t stop their children and some openly use it too. I guess it must be safe since everybody using weed seems ok. Is it dangerous to start? I heard about gateways not sure…
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Should I keep my faith?

Q. I have been struggling for some time now. It seems as if my faith is being tested. I am beginning to have doubts. Should I keep my faith? A. I have always thought that if someone has God in their life that they are quite fortunate. Not because I necessarily believe that this thing…
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Should I leave my spouse?

Q. Things are not easy in my marriage. My friend Louise keeps pushing me to stand up to my husband whom she calls the ‘cactus’ and leave him….I’m very confused. What should I do? A. I do not know your story. I cannot make comments about who you are, your life and the decisions you…
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Psychologically, how much can a person tolerate?

At university I had a lecturer who taught abnormal psychology. We were sitting in the lecture theatre waiting for him to start talking. Without a word he picked up a piece of chalk, strode to the green board and wrote the word therapist in large letters. He looked back at us, still not speaking and…
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Why did he do it?

My wife has a customer Leah, who has become a friend. She is elderly, a widow with three children who has decided to ensure that her affairs are in order for the inevitable day. We were standing on the veranda as she was leaving when she asked me a question. “Julian, why does somebody throw…
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Meditation is not psychotherapy but it is a great coping resource

It is unfortunate that the practice of meditation is generally misunderstood and often scorned. I knew someone who on hearing the mention of the word meditation put his hands together in mocking supplication and intoned ommmm with a supercilious grin on his face. Meditation is a behavioural technique to slow down the level of nervous…
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To be truly happy you need to pirouette with your best friend

Some years ago, it seems to have been dropped, there was an advertisement on South African TV. It opened with a man in a long brown coat and hat walking on a railway platform towards a train that had just pulled in to the station. He walked with lightness, with delight, almost on his toes…
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ADHD is not always about deficit

David was in grade 9 at the Middle School. He had been referred by teachers because they found him unable to concentrate and sit still in class whilst they were teaching. So he was psycho-educationally assessed very thoroughly, referred to a medical specialist and came back with a diagnosis of ADHD. I remember having a…
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The psychology of individual differences….40 green bottles hanging on the wall

So a friend told me the story of him and 39 other young men who were in their basic training in the new SANDF. They lived in a barracks all 40 of them. Each had a single size steel bed with a thin foam mattress, two thick grey blankets, two sheets, one pillow with pillow…
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Hearing, meta-hearing & herring

I had to change a bank card number with PayPal today. I sent an email to the contact desk to express my concern that a link to verify my new card was not working. The reply I received was comforting. “I understand that you need help in confirming your new Visa card. I’m sorry if…
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“There is no such thing as freedom.”

An attempt to clarify the meaning of the words freedom and free-will and to place them in a psychological context. Is there a statement more likely to provoke consternation from people than to submit that there is no such thing as freedom? I think not. So why suggest it? Here is Fromm’s quote “Freedom is…
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The psychology of coping

Is a difficult and challenging event inherently stressful or is it experienced as stressful? This important question lies at the heart of understanding how people successfully cope or not. It is evident to all that life throws at us an endless cycle of demands that we are required to attend to and deal with. Some…
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There is nothing new under the sun.

“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun”. Ecclesiastes 1:9 Old Testament It might be true that there is nothing new under the sun. Maybe it leads some to cynicism, fatalism and a…
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What does it mean that I must live my potential? 

We are often told to live our potential, but what does this mean and what are some of the elements involved in understanding and living one’s potential and why is it important. I am going to try and answer the question by first looking at a perspective on guilt! Rollo May explains that “guilt is…
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