|"Recently appointed Chair of the new BACP Registration Advisory Board, Edward Sallis is passionate about the power of education to transform lives" |
|"Getting out of the office could enable therapists to meet the needs of more clients" |
|"Psychotherapist and author Terry Lynch believes all human experiences should be seen as purposeful and as a starting point towards healing" |
|"Jungian psychotherapist Michael Boyle wants to reconnect men with each other to find their creative manhood" |
|"He once aspired to be Gandalf. Today Robert Elliott finds satisfaction in running, cooking, exploring Scotland and watching the ripples from his work become absorbed into therapy research" |
|"Counsellor, research consultant and former academic, John McLeod believes in the power of art-making as a fundamental human activity that can help change the world"|
Psychotherapist and media pundit Phillip Hodson keeps himself grounded by digging potatoes
Questionnaire – Phillip Hodson
Why did you become interested in counselling/psychotherapy?
Being bullied at school taught me to puzzle out people’s motives and develop a strategy for self-preservation. Later, I found that people tended to confide in me so I joined the National Marriage Guidance Council.
What gives your life purpose?
Life is purpose. Being alive seems to me to predicate trying to understand who you are. Banging the drum for psychotherapy. Realising you only get one life. Those I love.
What is your earliest memory?
The blissful comfort of being pushed in my pram up the hill in Wigston Lane, Aylestone, Leicester by my mother.
What are you passionate about?
Romance; playing the piano, classical music especially; writing; history; mending things; growing things; and test matches.
Do you always tell the truth?
It would be impossibly cruel to tell others exactly what you thought about them always. But in my professional work I go to the ends of the earth not to lie because you only have one reputation to lose.
What has been the lowest point in your life?
1) My sister’s multiple sclerosis. 2) My stepson’s incurable ataxia. 3) The stillbirth at eight months of our first child. 4) Another child’s despair.
How do you relax?
From the age of 18, it’s been jogging. My knees are now such that I have to ‘jog’ on a cross-trainer or bicycle.
What keeps you awake at night?
Just me – I have never needed a lot of sleep and quite frequently play the piano (on headphones) in the dark. My mother made insomnia romantic for us. She never went to bed before four.
What makes you angry?
I ration my anger because it is too easy to become a cartoon complainer. In no special order: celebrity culture; booze culture; pointless, ugly windmills; John Prescott’s assaults on the English language; children being hit; animal sentimentalism; the pillage of pensions and savings by our Governments; the stigmatisation of sex by religion to control believers; the waste of hope and purpose symbolised by the existence of the underclass.
Which person has been the greatest influence on you professionally?
Kenneth S Kitchin, my English teacher, who encouraged me to strive and compelled me to think.
How do you keep yourself grounded?
Try digging potatoes and getting above yourself – the spuds always win. Also by remembering that the world’s most famous people in 1883 are now almost all unknown.
What are you reading for pleasure right now?
Oblomov – the story of a man who cannot be motivated that hence teaches us an enormous amount about how to make decisions. And too many books about the collapse of civilisation during and just after World War II.
Do you fear dying?
I fear not dying. I’ve no ambition to wear out a second and third set of hips. I see death as a quite dangerous friend you need to humour ’til you’re ready.
What would you have written on your tombstone?
What do you feel guilty about?
I would feel guilt if I’d committed murder but I don’t feel guilty for my nation’s history (before my time) or for my (small enough) carbon footprint (makes no conceivable difference to any balance of outcomes) and I actually consider the doctrine of original sin repellent.
What makes you laugh?
The incongruity of politicians pontificating.
Where will your next holiday be to and why?
On the Great Ouse, starting at Ely, because my partner will kill me if I don’t go.
What would you change about society if you could?
I’d pay teachers what bankers get if they undertook to make every school as mentally rigorous as Eton and Westminster.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I’m happy so long as my brain holds out and at least one other person likes me.
Do you believe in God?
Never have. I was an atheist even when a 10-year-old choirboy.
What’s your most treasured possession?
My computer – I feel privileged to live in the age of this magical invention and sad that my Dad didn’t.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Probably my kids surviving their childhood.
Phillip Hodson is a BACP Fellow, practising psychotherapist and spokesperson for the profession.