19. Sophie Freud Pandemic

Sophie Freud was Freud’s fifth daughter.
She married a distant relative from Hamburg, with no wealth or distinction. Sophie died on the 25th January 1920 from complications brought on by the Spanish Flu. She left a husband and two sons. Freud was unable to visit her as there were no trains.
Sophie’s young son always a weak child died in 1922.

Freud called it an “irreparable narcissistic wound”. He consoled a colleague, whose child had also died “We know that the acute sorrow we feel after such a loss will run its course, but also that we will remain inconsolable, and will never find a substitute. No matter what may come to take its place, even should it fill that place completely, it remains something else. And that is how it should be. It is the only way of perpetuating a love that we do not want to abandon.”

This version of grief is anti-modern. In our era of resolving and moving on Freud poignantly reveals death as ever present and part of a life experience which will never die. The understatement and emotional reality of death and its pain keeping the dead loved one in the bereaved’s life.

Just like his ambition of common unhappiness, he revealed a measured, and limited view of human nature. Transference locks us into a life that was imprinted upon us at an early age. But through Freud’s work we understand this – not as a limitation but as beautiful and limitless.
Sophie Freud 1893-1920

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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18. Frederick Trump Pandemic

Frederick Trump Grandfather of the American President died of Influenza in 1918.
Otherwise known as the Spanish Flu Pandemic which infected 500 million people and killed between 20-50 million people.

It was called the Spanish flu because it was first identified in Spain because it was a neutral country with a less censored press. Like any pandemic it started with a new strain of flu which spread from person to person and nobody had immunity. It attacked and killed relatively young people including Freud’s own daughter Sophie in 1920 aged 27 years old.

Nobody is sure where the Spanish Flu came from. France, China, Britain, and the United States were all in the frame. The first recorded case was in Kansas March 1918. With a shortage of medical staff after the WW1 – people were ordered to wear masks, & public places like theatres, schools and churches were closed. People were ordered not to shake hands and stay indoors. Spitting was banned. Aspirin was over prescribed as a cure and caused death by poisoning.

The economy suffered and many businesses were shut down due to whole families dying. Basic services of sanitation and rubbish collection were reduced. Crops could not be picked, and health departments closed unable to monitor the spread of the Pandemic.

There were 4 waves of the Spanish Flu where countries were caught out and unable to protect their populations. The Pandemic ended in 1919 where those infected either died or built up an immune system.
In 2008 scientists discovered that the Spanish Flu weakened the lungs & bronchial tubes, which enabled the spread of pneumonia.

Now 100 years later it isn’t clear how, or where Spanish Flu started. Neither is it clear whether the 1918 Spanish Flu vaccine, or the 2020 flu vaccine was/will be successful.

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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17. That Guy!

J.T Walsh is a fine example of the supporting actor. That Guy!
Actors who never upstage the main characters but add a subtle depth to the performance with
skill and panache. That Guy! drives you mad. You have the image of their face in your head but cannot remember their name.

Supporting actors, sometimes called character actors can fold and morph themselves into many types of role. They are not branded or used to sell a film. So they remain unrecognisable able to play a wider variety of roles. They can enable the main character to have a poor performance without affecting the film.

Sometimes they can even steal the film. Not by upstaging or a big part. But by being influential to the film’s premise. Tommy Lee Jones in the Fugitive, and Joe Pesci in Goodfellas are good examples.
In the Fugitive the world weary cop whose flagging energy creates more sympathy for him and Harrison Ford the supposed criminal. The over charged, comedic, trigger happy character in the Goodfellas. Lots of manic psychopathic behaviour who everyone has to clean up after. A charasmatic rogue who the guys love.
Blink and you’ll miss them!

That Guy!

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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16. Essential Travel

Rules are made to be broken. Driving fast, Shoplifting, Non Essential Travel. Whatever the rule is we make a decision from our personal perspective. We convince ourselves with our own evidence that it’s ok to break the rules. No traffic around, the merchant is insured, I want to go outside and will not leave my car.

Even in the pandemic with the threat of life the reasoning is the same. It won’t do harm to anyone else! My neighbour is doing it. Not part of a vulnerable group – so not at risk? Etc etc. Is the threat too abstract?
Big numbers on news bulletins dull the senses.

Having to rely on each other is usual. But the extent is heightened in a pandemic. We might catch the virus from another? We are not sure? We don’t know who is contagious? Are we contagious? But then the rules are still broken. We are the centre of our own lives. What we do is for us not the other. Altruism? Deep down does altruism exist? Are we more self-orientated than we would like to admit for fear of being called selfish or self centred? Maybe we feel entitled to break the rules.

Relying on others is natural. We would not be here if it were not for others. But when they let us down it’s painful. Breaking the rules is to our own advantage: but if others see it as a threat to them it creates a sense of danger triggering the protection of anger. Stick to the Rule or Break the rule?

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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15. Negative Capability

Negative Capability is an idea first penned by the poet John Keats. He was talking about the greatest writers’ ability to hold onto artistic beauty even if it creates confusion and uncertainty. The tolerance of being able to have an idea and celebrate it even though it might not make sense.

Wilfred Bion a British Psychoanalyst expanded on the idea to mean an openess of mind. He described this as a life skill. To be able to tolerate the hurt and confusion of not knowing: rather than imposing a rigid template of certainty onto something unclear or out of control. In terms of Zen it was the talent to give up the self, to submit the self to obtain greater insight and understanding. A letting go of the ego to be open to other natural forces.

A skill to have in a lockdown? The ability to tolerate fear and uncertainty in the face of the unknown?

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Negative Capability is an idea first penned by the poet John Keats. He was talking about the greatest writers’ ability to hold onto an artistic beauty even if it creates confusion and uncertainty. The tolerance of being able to have an idea and celebrate it even though it might not make sense.

Wilfred Bion a British Psychoanalyst expanded on the idea to mean an openess of mind. He described this as a life skill. To be able to tolerate the hurt and confusion of not knowing: rather than imposing a rigid template of certainty onto something unclear or out of control. In terms of Zen it was the talent to give up the self, to submit the self to obtain greater insight and understanding. A letting go of the ego to be open to other natural forces.

A skill to have in a lockdown? The ability to tolerate fear and uncertainty in the face of the unknown?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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14. Threat Anxiety

These times of stress and threat of the unknown mixed in with a dose of death create understandable anxiety. Industrial nations are not good at dealing with anxiety. Avoidance of anxiety is key in the West.

Keep stressed to avoid anxiety which makes us more stressed!
We produce, create, at any cost do – to control the anxiety. Threat Anxiety

Control is a big capitalist seduction. To be brought up in a culture of control, subliminally creates in us the deceit that control is possible. Control of work, money, death, family, children, and what we put into our bodies.

As humans we might be happier believing that control is not possible all the time. Control is at times futile. But to give it up feels counter intuitive.

To cope with anxiety our primitive brain goes into fight, flight, or freeze mode. The West has frozen in reaction to Climate Change and the present pandemic. If it is far enough away: it doesn’t count and will not affect us. Suddenly its here and panic kicks in. Less anxiety (far away) too much anxiety (its here).
That is the way we like it here. Avoid avoid avoid – then oh sh*t.

Being with anxiety is more tricky. It sounds stupid – why would you want to be with your anxiety? It’s uncomfortable and makes us feel bad. The advantage of sitting with and meditating anxiety is that we get to know our own personal brand of it. Being with anxiety reduces the anxiety energy making it feel  more comfortable. This in turn allows us not to react with anxiety and make better decisions.

To be at the mercy of our anxiety/fears and prejudices is difficult.
But they are real. More real than pretending they are not there.

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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13. Lockdown Introvert

Introverts see themselves living in an Extrovert World. Through American Culture, particularly Hollywood – the characteristics of Assertiveness, Individuality & Getting what you want are all seen as positive talents.

Less positve are Quiteness, Shyness, & Lacking(?) Assertiveness. In Lockdown the Extrovert not used to being alone or in a limited group finds themselves anxious and alarmed.

While Introverts come into their own. No excuse not to meet people needed. Time spent with yourself doesn’t have to be explained or justified. Not playing the “humans are social animals” game a relief. Not dealing with other humans saves energy.
A Calm of Quiteness & Stillness covers the nation temporarily. Lockdown Introverts Enjoy!

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introverts see themselves living in an Extrovert World. Through American Culture, particularly Hollywood the characteristics of Assertiveness, Individuality & Getting what you want are all seen as positive talents.

Quiteness, Shyness, & Lacking(?) Assertiveness is seen as less positive.

In Lockdown the Extrovert not used to being alone or in a limited group finds themselves anxious and alarmed. While Introverts come into their own. No excuse not to meet people needed. Time spent with yourself doesn’t have to be explained or justified. Not playing the “humans are social animals” game a relief.
A Calm of Quiteness & Stillness covers the nation temporarily. Lockdown Introverts Enjoy!

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique



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12. Virus Anxiety

Virus Anxiety abounds. And naturally so. The virus is such a calamity that anxiety is a natural reaction?
Are we missing something?

The primitive brain is a natural anxiety trigger organ. Hardwired to protect, and keep us safe.
Anxiety gives us the edge to survive. We have survived very well. More than any other known species. 

Capiatlism feeds on anxiety. Life Insurance, Bigger House, Better job. We never have enough. Happiness, Perfect love. Never achieve what we feel we should have achieved. We have to keep aspiring. Bigger better. This makes us feel less than. Inferior. So we buy more to alleviate the anxiety. We strive for things which are not possible.

Anxiety is so embedded in us that when we are not anxious we invent something to be anxious about. Just keep it going. Better to be tense rather than relaxed. The media feeds on anxiety. Dramatisation, Panic, Fear. The emphasis on the worst case scenario. The bottom line. Anxiety or avoidance of anxiety creates a reactive behind the curve planning.

So when a calamity happens anxiety is waiting to be triggered. The virus is deadly serious. Countries showing cultural characteristics to risk. Panic buying irrelevant items. Testing and no testing. Underplaying or overplaying the risk. In crisis management – calmness, & clarity are taught to inspire employees to think clearly and create solutions. We need calmness, planning, clear thinking and proactive strategies.

But we are not going to get them, even though we demand them. Leaders are anxious. So – as all human endeavour is: muddled, imperfect, and compromised by our anxiety.
Anxiety creates anxiety. It’s what we are to survive.

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique



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11. Virus

2020 will be remembered for the spread of Coronavirus.
Crisis provokes learning. Ordinary times provoke avoidance and denial: not learning.
In the crisis of Brexit we learnt what we already knew but didn’t want to admit. A deeply divided nation with an  ever growing gap between rich and poor. Right and left giving us values so deep that neither can agree. But also an understanding that a whole section of the population is oppressed by the cruelty of global markets, and a perceived threatened way of life.

This virus has its reality. We don’t know much about it yet. Time lines of contagion or how it spreads. It will kill many vulnerable people. It has already illuminated totalitarian states denial of the start of the virus. Populist capitalist economies slow to put in place strategies. Putting self interest, stocks & shares above the weak and vulnerable. Underfunded health services yet to prove how unprepared they are. Tightly controlled governments exposed to be unable to control the uncontrollable.

The suffering and pain of families and friends losing loved ones before their time. Nothing can compare.

Yet it is our technological arrogance that we think we are immune from nature and history. Shakespeare’s life was dominated by plague. His fellow actors family and friends died. He wrote in self isolation. Plagues are a part of nature and history. They’ve always happened.
Irony that a cure for AIDS is being approved this month.

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique



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10. Corona Beer

Corona Beer sales have fallen. This is because it is being associated with the Coronavirus spreading all over the world. Drink the Beer and get the Virus. Some would dismiss this as stupidity and ignorance. How could you catch a virus from a beer? Fear beats logic?

But to dismiss is to miss. The human mind is more motivated by perception, particularly in times of stress and fear. Even more than logic. There is no logical sense to the Corona Beer scenario. But add fear of abuse, stress, dying or death: and the human mind starts to associate.

The mind does this to protect itself. We associate as a primitive reminder that we are under threat. It goes overboard so that any chosen(?) association can relate to the original trauma.

There are different levels. Lost love creates association of seeing the ex-loved in the street. The male perpetrator is associated being with men in power, men in confined spaces.

Perception and association inform our relationships and our lives. Call this association, projection, transference, or whatever. Ignore it and human behaviour becomes non-sensical even our own.

 

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique

 



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