February blog and newsletter: Article by Adam Goren, book reviews, podcasts, other writing, jokes and the theme of Owls

by Feb 28, 2023Uncategorised0 comments

Approx. Reading Time: 11 minutes

Cool spiral on seafront in Ramsgate | Spring is near, yay!!

Flying owls in kent, this was so exciting So in honour, here is an owl haiku by Issa In the owl’s opinion Every day Is Long


…and please forward to anyone who might be interested, or if you so desire, unsubscribe at the bottom.

Welcome to the Spring newsletter. The last month has seen terrible earthquakes, cyclones in New Zealand and many other disasters, but also the new moments of spring, daffodils and crocuses springing up, dawns getting earlier, spring in the air. There are below some book reviews, news some good but some bad), upcoming talks, podcasts, interesting writings, a few more giveaway codes for the audible version of Respark, owl trivia, a free paper of mine to download from the Journal of Child Psychotherapy and other goodies, including just below an as yet unpublished paper, Through the Looking Glass, taking in psychoanalysis, art, mirrors and of course therapy, by Adam Goren .. he writes so well, .and of course more jokes are getting worse!

Get Adam Goren’s article here

Amazing spiral on Ramsgate seafront.

Resparking from Deadness

The child psychotherapy journal has made this paper available free for a month. Resparking from flatness: new thoughts on shut-down states after trauma and neglect: Journal of Child Psychotherapy: Vol 47, No 3 – tandfonline.com

Much of the content is also in the book Respark, but for those who have not read it then please feel fee to download the arfticle below

A spring blue skyed day

A few blogs and writings to enjoy

Robert McFarlane Beautiful (not short) piece on the wood wide web, the understory and links with Merlin Sheldrakes book see here Minga: Ancient forms of cooperation and altruism: I have been thinking again about the themes in The Good Life and this example from of collective labour from the Andes struck me as such a wonderful illustration of ways of being and joining we have lost read here Out of Africa? Interesting piece questioning whether human evolution is rooted in Africa read here A polemic but thought provoking: 8 Things Autistic People do that You’re Misreading as Neurotypical read here

Simplistic diagnosis and reductionism: A good challenge to superficial understandings about psychiatric and other diagnoses and classifications and the need to understand systems and contexts read here

A good primer for those starting to make sense of trauma, by Bessel Van der Kolk

What is trauma? The author of “The Body Keeps the Score” explains | Bessel van der Kolk | Big Think

a few research bites

Childhood trauma and later risk: Big meta-analysis showing how early trauma TRIPLES the risk of adult mental health disorders .Summary here , the original paper is behind a paywall but here if you can access it Harsh parenting and daughters depression and anxiety: An interesting new study showing how harsh discipline is linked to more in daughters see here Racism and the brain: Another on how the brain and nervous system are affected by racism and discrimination see here For anyone interested here is a link to a paper about racism, covid and stress and health I wrote a little while back access here Greed: We all know this but, . greed can make you richer but not happier. journal article here and below a report of it here Owl therapy (of course!): There’s more than equine therapy, owl therapy is a real and amazing thing, who knew? here are some examples! here and also this one Coffee: and research shows just how coffee is amazingly good for you .. phew .. see research here and this picture proves it

There is a lot of sad news around and it is devastating for many of us that our dear child psychotherapy and infant mental health colleague and friend, Gwen Kirkwood, so sadly passed away since the last newsletter. She was a gifted therapist, and more importantly a gentle sensitive soul, who felt and thought deeply, sometimes hid her amazing light but fought for what she believed in and had a powerful impact on all who knew her, Deep condolences to friends, colleagues, patients and family, especially her children .. Gwen you will live on in so many hearts for sure

Here is a justgiving page for anyone to donate , funds will go to support trainees in Infant Mental Health, especially of Black and Minority Ethnic groups

Upcoming talks or events


  1. MINDinMIND: Live Legacy Interview with Arietta Slade Tuesday 7 March 2023, 5pm to 7pmThe attachment researcher with an incredible legacy details here Do check out their video interviews, blogs and other events
  2. Tavistock External Trauma Lectures: 12th January, not to be missed, Valerie Sinason on DID. Series Organised by the inimitable Jo Stubley, details here
  3. I am doing a Respark talk: For PIP Solutions , billed as what you need to know to help children and young people recover from emotional numbing after trauma, or neglect., details here Other events I am doing include those found here
  4. International Evolutionary Psychiatry Conference: : Looks like a fascinating set of talks ..book here
  5. Daniela Sieff on Toxic Shame and Spirals of Suffering: This will be a really interesting talk on an important trauma related subject details here

A few recently read books of possible interest

No Bad Parts by Richard Schwartz : By the founder of the therapeutic model, Internal Family Systems (IFS), which i have a lot of time for, this is much simpler and more heartfelt than his other accounts and takes you right into the heart of the work, with examples and even some exercises. I like iFS and use some of the ideas and this new book also has a political and spiritual message alongside the main therapeutic angles see here

Finding the Mother Tree: Suzanne Simard: This is the amazing story of the discovery of fungal networks, how trees connect via the ‘wood wide web’ in incredible ways, mutually protecting and supporting each other. We read the story of her discoveries which fuelled so much other writing, this told in a moving and personal way and I was left in awe about the inter connectedness of life and ashamed of our materialistic conception of nature See and get here (see podcast mentioned below with Richard Powers whose great novel, the Overstory was in part inspired by this book)

Four Letters of Love by Niall Williams . I really like Niall williams and this book which is, as the title suggests, about love in its various forms, set on an island on the coast of Ireland, part poignant stories, by a novelist who has a big heart and knows about matters of the heart . A bit spiritual in an irish folklore almost magical realist way and a mixture of the modern and old-fashioned novel ..

one moving bit with father and son, after the mother’s death .. ‘”As we passed the houseware to and from each other, unpiling pots, pans, cups and saucers and stacking them along the counter for slow washing in the warm soap of my mother’s memory, it was not dirt, grime or oil we were washing off, but grief. I swept it from the kitchen as my father dried. Together we rubbed the sun-warm windows over the sink where so often my mother had stood, peeling, paring or polishing while she stared the dream of her married life away down the little tangle of garden and across the wall to the back of another house’s dream. . . . The more my father washed, the more his tears flowed, and mine with them, both of us standing there, father and son, unable to speak and washing dishes like the loudest declarations of love.” see or get here

Owl Babies, Martin Waddell: Well there had to be an owl book!! , I loved reading this to my daughter, and here’s an Association of Child Psychotherapists review .. and get here

Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid : A beautiful evocative story of a Caribbean childhood, and of the move to adolescence and into early adulthood, full of depth, capturing a child’s mind wonderfully, and of its time, surprisingly little about race in fact , but so much about the culture and history and you can almost smell and taste the life lived, and breath with this child becoming a young woman, with all the conflicts and powerful feelings. get here

This quote about how she saw her mother made me sad for so many children I have worked with who did not have this ‘”As she told me the stories, I sometimes sat at her side, leaning against her, or I would crouch on my knees behind her back and lean over her shoulder. As I did this, I would occasionally sniff at her neck, or behind her ears, or at her hair. She smelled sometimes of lemons, sometimes of sage, sometimes of roses, sometimes of bay leaf. At times I would no longer hear what it was she was saying; I just liked to look at her mouth as it opened and closed over words, or as she laughed. How terrible it must be for all the people who had no one to love them so and no one whom they loved so, I thought.”‘

For any who have missed these, fascinating and moving programs Inside Our Autistic Minds, on BBC2, sample brief excerpt below , with Chris Packham watch here

"My husband is the only person who's seen me unmasked" | Inside Our Autistic Minds

yes there were other owls!

A poem that affected me this month (of course on the owl theme!)

The Owl Who Comes by Mary Oliver   The owl who comes through the dark to sit in the black boughs of the apple tree and stare down the hook of his beak, dead silent, and his eyes, like two moons in the distance, soft and shining under their heavy lashes- like the most beautiful life- is thinking of nothing as he watches and waits to see what might appear, briskly, out of the seamless, deep winter- out of the teeming world below- and if I wish the owl luck, and I do, what am I wishing for that other soft life, climbing through the snow?   What we must do, I suppose is to hope the world keeps its balance: what we are to do, however, with our hearts waiting and watching-truly

I do not know.

Owls silent flying .. apologies if the theme is getting tiresome!! they are so amazing

The silent flight of an owl - Natural World: Super Powered Owls Preview - BBC Two

3 Some podcasts and video bites

Richard Powers; Kinship, Community and Consciousness : One of my favourite novelists and deep thinkers interviewed here on the Emergence Magazine podcast discussing important topics linked to the environment, plant consciousness and much more listen here BIrdsong in cities: Enjoyable and informative podcast about birdsong and how it is affected by human life, like cities, highlights include how birdsong went much lower in covid when human sounds retreated listen here .. no mention of owls in this but .. Edith Eger on Brene Brown: Inspirational holocaust survivor Eger in conversation with Brown, not a new one but full of inspiration listen here Mary Oliver on ON Being: I Not a new one either but Mary Oliver was so inspirational and as I am using one f her poems here listen here

My books and writing:

A few more redemption codes for the Audiobook version of Respark to listen to on Spotify or other formats. PLEASE review if anyone reads or listens, it does make a huge difference. Thank you For codes click below, 1st come first served I am afraid (bit you can always buy it!) Ang PLEASE review if anyone has a chance 1 here 2nd here

3rd here

So 3rd edition nearly in the can, thanks to those who have made suggestions or comments and read chapters, i cant thank you enough

I am pleased to have a paper accepted for the Journal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy looking at the whole question of middle childhood, some major clinical challenges, whether latency is a helpful concept, the cultural differences in how that period is negotiated and the extraordinary hormonal rush of adrenarche that takes place before puberty. It has always amazed me that so many of the children we are referred are of that age but so little is written about this as a developmental period compared to adolescence or infancy .. watch this space ..

‘RESPARK’: available in audible format here

Also audiobooks are now on Spotify as well as Apple and Kobo and many others

The physical book and ebook available from amazon or better, independent bookshops Karnac or psychological therapy books

And my short book, Affect and Emotion , new edition, from amazon or psychological therapy books . or karnac

For other available books e.g. Nurturing Natures, Nurturing Children, The Good Life and other books and chapters see here

Now the (perhaps not so) funny bits

Silly video sketch about a support group for imaginary friends

Imaginary Friends Workshop

And this month’s really bad jokes (of course on the owl theme .. perhaps not a hoot … ) CHRIS: I know someone who thinks he’s an owl. CRAIG: Who? CHRIS: Make that two people! gets worse, but you have to think about these (a bit) My pet owl will soon turn 180. He’s not old, he just has a bad neck. or A guy walks into a bar. “Haven’t seen you in a while. Did you have a good Halloween?” the bartender asks. “Sure did. My wife and I dressed up as Peruvian Owls,” the guy tells the bartender. “We were Inca hoots.”

Promise i will try for some better jokes next month .. but feel free to help me by sending me some!

corny one (after those bad jokes this made me chuckle anyway)

Untitled design
Graham Music's Publications

Copyright (C) 2023 Nurturing Natures Therapeutic and Training Services Ltd.. All rights reserved.

Share this Graham Music blog post

Sign up for my newsletter and occasional updates