Love & Rage is a book about children, both the child in those of us who are chronologically adult, as well as the children we may be interacting with. It takes a reader for a journey into their inner world of intense, raging emotions which often goes unheeded by the outside adult world.
With the trained ear of a child psychotherapist, the author listens to children’s stories as they emerge in her consulting room, through word and play, and translates them for adults. Supported by the author’s own personal associations and a bedrock of psychodynamic theory, the book throws light on what comes into a psychotherapist’s consulting room, and demonstrates that it is not unusual, bizarre or crazy. Instead, it is the ordinary stuff of everyday life, taking place in every family. That sometimes we all carry the pain of complex feelings within ourselves for all of our lives-love and rage towards the people we are closest to.
This book is essential reading for anyone close to children – parents and parents-to-be, teachers, school counsellors-but also for anyone looking to attend to the child within them.
Nupur D Paiva is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist, Associate Fellow with the British Psychological society, Child Psychotherapist and Mother-of-two. She now works in private practice in New Delhi.
This is a book about children and about the child within all those of us who are chronologically adult.
By no means is this a new topic in the field of psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, psychology or emotional health. In fact, it forms the bedrock of some of the most influential theorizing in the field. Yet, like most simple truths, it seems to need reiteration, as if each society, perhaps each individual, needs to re-invent this wheel for itself. This book had to be written because through my work it became clear that the subject of small, vulnerable, dependent parts within our adult exteriors was extremely neglected in our society and because this neglect did not just die with us in our lifetimes; it passed on to our children, damaging succeeding generations and that the only way to stem the damage was through increased awareness of our inner worlds, by connecting up all the lonely bits.
Working as a psychotherapist is lonely work. Perhaps anywhere in the world but more so, I feel, in India. It is impossible to talk casually about our work anyway but the combination of being scanty on the ground as a profession and being cast into outer darkness by the public imagination makes it more so. At the best of times, no one wants to talk to a psychotherapist. At the worst of times, we are alone with someone's internal suffering.
After working for a decade for the National Health Service in the UK, I returned to India to find myself lonely; without colleagues or social sanction, so far back in the margins as a profession that I did not know where to start. When I began work as a child psychologist in Delhi, I refused to see individual adults, keeping my time and mind available for children and young people. ‘If I fill up my appointment slots with individual adults, I will not have time to offer to a child who may come along’ is what I told the few colleagues who would refer patients to me. Also, while I am trained as a clinical psychologist, I am not keen on cognitive assessments. There are plenty of well- trained people in the city who are able to do that and intervene effectively to help a child use strategies to manage their ‘wiring’ issues. There is a serious dearth however of professionals to help children and their parents attend to the emotional impact of life events—birth, weaning, food, sleep; going to school, making friends, losing loved ones, sharing parents with siblings; failure, anger, greed, envy. This is my work: the child’s internal emotional world and the fundamental importance of the ordinary difficulties of growing up. There are still very few professionals in Delhi who understand what this means. Too few. This book is an attempt at reducing this loneliness.
Why do that? I ask myself. Why this need to build a community, link people and join minds?
I know a thing or two about loneliness, especially about the one created by external structures. There are different kinds of loneliness, I suspect. Moving countries as a 23-year-old student to focus on the development of my chronologically adult mind, leaving behind everyone I knew and loved, and more importantly who knew and loved me, I found myself in a huge, cosmopolitan, English-speaking city with a population of seven million and not acquainted with a single human being. Everyone I met, everywhere I went, was unfamiliar, including the vegetation, to the extent that the sight of a mango tree in the botanical gardens brought on waves of homesickness. There were streets of houses and parked cars but no people. Not even strangers. I found myself listening to the banter on the radio in the mornings just to have another conversational voice in the physical space I inhabited. Something to cut the thick silence, anything, even an unfamiliar accented voice about an unfamiliar aspect of pop culture or an unfamiliar climate. The morning weather report structured my wardrobe, my day and my mood. I could go for hours, perhaps days without speaking to anyone if I did not make the effort or a phone call. The Loneliness was palpable. At times, like when I put my headphones on and pretended I was in a film with a background score, I felt like a cliché. I knew this was unremarkable. Terribly ordinary. It was the experience of thousands of young people every year. Reams had been written and filmed about it both as fiction and academic research. I was not impressed by my own suffering.
At other times I knew I was struggling, barely keeping up with an emotional treadmill, running just to keep still. Years later, I look back on this phase and I have new respect for the manic defences—working hard to keep depression at bay. Then, what I had wanted was someone who had a background on me, someone who could link my past and present, not as events but as a relationship to a younger me. Keep in mind the child in me. The parts that also wanted to be fed familiar food or be hugged goodnight. The fact that no one knew anything about me could have been immensely freeing. I could have written my own script, been anyone; it could have been a reinvention. It wasn't.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Item Code: NAS201 Author: Nupur Dhingra Paiva Cover: PAPERBACK Edition: 2018 Publisher: Yoda Press, Delhi ISBN: 978938257933 Language: English Size: 8.50 X 5.50 inch Pages: 260 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.24 Kg