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  • This blog provides a forum for discussion of therapeutic technique, including cognitive behavioural and psychodynamic technique. The focus of the blog is on psychotherapeutic technique and issues in the room rather than case or theoretical discussions. At the bottom of each post is a comments section. Feel free to make any comments you like. Please remember this blog is a public forum.

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  • Chris Allan is a clinical psychologist and Director of the Psychology Clinic at the University of Wollongong. He has a strong interest in both cognitive and psychodynamic therapies and an ongoing fascination in the interaction of technology and psychology. His interests are varied and include martial arts, playing guitar, cooking, chess, clothes, poetry and computer gaming. He is married with two children two dogs and a budgie.

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« Following the Fallacy: Enhancing your Logical Analysis | Main | Do We Unconsciously Invite Gifts? »


Garth Mintun

I find your blog very interesting and lively! Have you found any psychotherapy blogs dealing with expectations of people during the Holiday season? It would be interesting to me how other psychotherapists interact regarding expectations during the holiday season and what they say to folks when they expect themselves to be "100% happy" during the season. I also would like to know what sites you reccomend for clients regarding expectations during the holiday season. For your information, I made an attempt to write a blog article on Holiday Expectatons with clients in mind and it might be interesting to have a dialogue going on this subject.


I believe that we can only understand offers of gifts by listening to patients on a case-by-case basis. The latent meanings symbolically represented in the patient’s communication are of the utmost importance in terms of understanding the trigger for the gift, the meaning of the gift and the possible meanings of our responses to the offer of the gift.

When we listen to multiple levels of communication in a session, the underlying meanings of these 'acting-in' phenomena may be represented quite clearly, but your crossword puzzle example serves to remind that the gift itself is a communication. The symbolic expression of latent meaning in a gift of crossword puzzles is one of those unforgettable and extraordinary things that can occur in psychotherapy. The patient may have manifestly explored her anger with you, but apparently still felt some anger that was defensively disguised as a 'gift' of 'cross words.' As a 'puzzle,' the gift also seems to contain an invitation for you to decode the patient's cross words.

Unconscious processes are ingenious. I've got to hand it to you for letting the meaning of the gift get through to you as quickly as it did. This is the kind of meaning that can easily elude recognition even as it stares us in the face. We all know that what seems obvious in retrospect is often not on the radar of our awareness as we try to understand what is happening in a session. Yet once we see the meaning, the pieces fall into place. It's a great story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

wholesale bags

There is plenty more room in this tote and I foresee it being used for summer outings.

Coach Factory

thanks. we are looking forward for your new comments!

Calvin Klein

thank you1

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