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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thomas Moore talks about Artemis and privacy

Lyssa, second from left, spirit of fury with a dog's-head cap.

On 21 March 2011 Thomas Moore gave a public presentation, Artemis And Her Children: The Soul's Need For Privacy, with Re-Vision: Centre of Integrative Psychosynthesis for which he's a patron. Before his talk, Moore spoke with Sarah Van Gogh, a tutor with the Re-Vision counselling diploma course. The site offers a seven-page transcript of "Interview with Thomas Moore". In this interview Moore talks about privacy in general life and within the therapeutic relationship. To Van Gogh's question about Moore's own need for privacy, he responds:
"Well, I'm a very, very private person. There's nothing better for me than sitting at home, writing. As a matter of fact, I was just sitting by myself in the hotel room this morning, and I was thinking how much I miss writing. I've been away from home for over a week now. That's the most difficult thing about being away for me, because I enjoy writing so much. And the act of writing is very private, very personal; ultimately it does connect me to the world, but it's a very private process. I think the practice of therapy is also private, even though there are two people involved, it's still contemplative and private, I think the spirit of Artemis can be present in therapy."
Moore also talks about responses from medical audiences to his book Care of the Soul in Medicine:
"Everyone needs an opportunity to reflect on their own experience. If not, you are simply always doing, and there's no possibility for learning. I've been talking a great deal recently to people in the medical professions for my book (Care of the Soul in Medicine), and over the years I've been teaching psychiatrists, and all these people are those who really need the opportunity to reflect on what they are doing, and they have no opportunity, in their work, to do so. They're always being called on to do something. And when I suggest that this is what they need, their immediate reaction is – they can't, because they're too busy. So sometimes we can't even imagine reflection as being important enough to be put into a schedule."
Moore talks about the need for psychotherapists to speak publically in roles of leadership:
"But I think it's important to really take on some roles that come to us. Especially leadership roles. And I think therapists could be more up for that – more up for making connections to the wider world. Because they spend so much time learning a great deal about what goes on in life, in their training and in their work. And that's exactly the perspective that the world needs. But it's not happening enough. I think therapists could be a more productive force, and take more of a leadership role in the world. So, I feel the same about myself: if others are interested in having me around to do things with them, to teach or facilitate, I feel like it's my job to enter that role, and do it, without any false modesty; just really take it on!
He includes discussion of shadow aspects when listeners may be disappointed with his personal approach.

Moore refers to the above image in his interview. According to
Lyssa, Lytta to Athenians, was "the goddess or daimona (spirit) of rage, fury, raging madness, frenzy, and, in animals, of the madness of rabies." Greek vase-paintings show her in plays about Aktaeon, the hunter killed by his own hounds. "In this scene she appears as a woman dressed in a short skirt, and crowned with a dog's-head cap to represent the madness of rabies."

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