“Jung said exhaustion can be a great window into the unconscious, and it certainly was. One day, around 47, I just couldn’t get out of bed, and I remained in bed for two or three months.”
Psychotherapist Andrew Jamieson joins the show to talk about his new book, MIDLIFE: Humanity’s Secret Weapon (Notting Hill Editions/NYRB). We get into the history of midlife crises and the flowering that can result from that experience (while delving into our own respective midlife crises, as well as mankind’s), Jung’s theory of individuation & how it provides a path out of self-destructive behavior, the notion of therapy as applied philosophy, the gravitational field of authentic need, the importance of the Chinese Farmer story, his secret identity as a classical music concert promoter, why he chose to become a psychotherapist in his 50s and why he thinks I should become one. We also talk about why it’s important for therapists be married to someone who has no interest in therapy, how writing a book is like serial plagiarism, the concept of love (or devotion) between therapist and client, whether neuroses can be cured or only soothed, the Ancient Greek notion of Kairos, or ‘the right moment’, what it was like conducting therapy session in a cemetery during lockdown, and plenty more. Give it a listen! And go read MIDLIFE: Humanity’s Secret Weapon!
“God, I would LOVE to have you as a client!”
About our Guest
Andrew Jamieson trained at the Bath Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling and received an MA in Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy at Middlesex University. He lectures and writes articles on a series of subject including psychotherapy’s interconnection with philosophy, music and literature. Parallel to his psychotherapeutic career, he has promoted orchestral concerts throughout the UK for over forty years.
Credits: This episode’s music is Fella by Hal Mayforth, used with permission from the artist. The conversation was recorded remotely via Zencastr. I used a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Cloudlifter CL-1 and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack 2×2 USB Recording Interface. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Photo of Andrew at the Philemon stone carved by Jung at his tower at Bollingen on Lake Zurich by . . . someone else. It’s on my instagram.