October 2020 Newsletter

Dear TherapyFriends,

Welcome to our first newsletter, in our second month after launch. For those wondering what it is all about, TherapyFriends is a halfway house between the therapeutic and the real world and hopes to extend the quiet beauty and creative energy of a therapeutic space to a wider world. If you are considering therapy, completed a course of therapy, or are a healthcare professional who wants to be part of an online caring community, you are our therapyfriend !

We have had a busy October with many interesting articles. Some are researched or interesting pieces from other magazines and journals. Our sources are from popular as well as professional mental health related journals. We publish part of these and link it back to where we found them so both can benefit from a diverse viewership.

Do see Prof. Paul Gilbert’s comprehensive foreword to the research report on depression for 2020 which brings together all the threads of why we, as a society, suffer from depression. In a response to the report, Eduard Daniel Mårgårit, Chairperson, British Psychological Society, describes society as ‘depressogenic’ “characterised by inequality, isolation, social comparison and, for many, oppression in a world where psychosocial aetiology is pathologized and often ignored“. She also encourages debate about the report. Ref:https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/understanding-depression-bps-report-2020-response-

There are homegrown articles and posts from people we know and who have something meaningful to say. For example, the post on ‘Sukkos’, a Jewish festival which occurs at this time of the year and links an agricultural past to a modern present. Sudhir Kakar, an independent psychoanalytic author writes from sunny Goa, giving us an exclusive (to TherapyFriends) personal blog to a book which was sold out ‘The Kipling File’. David Morgan, British psychoanalyst, writes a personal blog for his book on Politics and Social life.

The boxing clubs of Liverpool, Inclusive Hub and Anfield Boxing club have received due recognition in TherapyFriends. Inclusive Hub works with a varied mentally challenged group and Anfield goes by the motto ‘Real Men don’t carry Knives’. Anfield has classes for young children as well as women. You will agree that keeping young people off the streets and using a sport to empower the disempowered is a fundamental way to manage mental health.

One of our team members, Smita, has written a post on Navratri, an Indian festival, which has now begun and will continue till Oct 27. It explores the split between adulation for an ornate goddess and the dehumanisation of the disadvantaged women of India. One ought not to bring up unsavoury topics at the time of a festival, some might say, but since Navratri might be quiet this time due to COVID, there is pause for thought. Also, crime against women today is more appalling than ever before so a festival celebrating an embattled goddess is as good a time as any to talk about it.

TherapyFriends hopes to de-stigmatise mental health and create an inclusive online caring community. There are interest forums and ‘find a friend’ functions which hope to connect people in friendship and love. From October 25, we will begin to charge a humble subscription of £9.95 per year and £29.95 for two years. This is a special offer ! It will help to cover the cost of keeping such a website running well. Some posts will still be free to browse for the curious visitor. So do join us in creating an inclusive and well informed community which is also fun!

Sincerely,

TF team

October 18, 2020.

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