It’s not often one is asked to write about oneself. Is it even possible to do this without bias? Answering someone else’s questions is one thing, but me, delving inside and trying to come up with who and what I am – well that’s quite a challenge! What of discretion? What do you leave out? Do people really want to know how I was traumatised at the age of six whilst standing in line for the ‘nit’ nurse? I mean, I could probably write a whole book so, instead, I will address my lack of self-confidence or inadequacy as it is the one part of my personality that is uppermost in my mind right now. I guess if I had to categorise my hopes, dreams, feelings and philosophy the nearest label I could come up with now would probably be that I have a somewhat pagan set of beliefs. But who needs labels, right? I have suffered all my life from low self-esteem. This led me at a young age to try the mainstream religions which I’m afraid I found limiting and wanting. Perhaps it’s just me, but after the first flush of novelty, I found I wasn’t reacting well to being penned in, herded, or being told what to think. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being judgmental, there’s nothing wrong with people who join a particular religious club, just the one’s I met. After all, we are all individuals – at least, that’s what most people would say. So, I’ll concentrate on inadequacy. My own personal variety comes into its own when dealing with other people. I feel as though I have been living in the keep of a castle all my life. People, places and experiences pass by my window so I can see them and touch them, but I 28 never leave the safety of the keep. All this time, however, those I know think I am out there with them. The real beauty of this “keep” is that it changes outwardly depending on who is looking at it. My view remains the same, but my barrier walls lead me to mirror those I am attempting to communicate with. Mimicry is the greatest flattery O.K. So, this way I’ll be liked.
Today we talk about Versions of Life, Stories from Counselling, a book by John Clayden, published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author John Clayden, to get to know him better, what prompted him to write of his book Versions of Life, Stories from Counselling, as well as what he would recommend to readers who know they need help but are afraid to ask.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- What prompted you to write a book about counselling?
As a family doctor, I found that I spent a lot of time helping people with complex emotional problems. I was greatly helped when I found an excellent counsellor, Dee Howley. Before she died, she presented me with work she had done with a group of our patients and suggested it might form the basis of a book to help other people so, after I retired, I decided to try and bring her idea to fruition.
- What particularly significant experiences in your life find expression in your book?
Being involved with training young general practitioners over most of my career, a knowledge of counselling techniques was at the forefront of teaching them consultation skills. All of the stories in the book were written by patients about problems which they had initially brought to us for help and resulted in referral for help through counselling
- What would you recommend to readers who know they need help but are afraid to ask?
Firstly, know that you are never really alone. Lots of people will have gone through similar experiences and have found help through counselling. Close family or friends can often help you over a bad patch but, if this is not possible, talk to your family doctor who should be able to help and guide you. Mention the possibility of talking to a counsellor. Private counsellors are accessible but ensure that they have proper training and supervision.
- How was your publishing experience?
Europe Books provided me with an excellent and enthusiastic support team who guided me through the process with skill and patience. In encouraging me to publish, they showed me that they had a thorough knowledge of the work and provided all the other technical background such as proof reading and as graphic art to ensure a good end product.
- Are you working on a new writing project you can tell us about?
Currently, I have been writing a family history and autobiography but mainly as something to eventually leave to my granddaughters so that they can learn about my life and work and become aware of the differences between their lives in the 21st century and that of our family throughout the last century and before.
Europe Books thanks the author John Clayden once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside him on the editorial path that led to the publication of his book Versions of Life, Stories from Counselling. We wish him the best of luck for his book and for his future works.
To you, my dear reader, I wish that through this reading you will always remember that you are never alone, because even if in the absence of family members or close relatives, there are trained and accessible professionals who can be close to you and help you in times of difficulty in order to find ways out of what you are experiencing.
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy this very supportive reading!