Friday 24 November 2017

Mozart really helps me to put my mind back in order

Talking heads: Conversation is key to problem-solving for Michael Murphy
Talking heads: Conversation is key to problem-solving for Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy, Psychonanalyst

"So many people don't pay too much attention to their mental health. We're living in the age of smartphones, bombarding our brains with information, and we're afraid to stop and do nothing. We need to take time out, even if it means sitting with our eyes closed for 10 minutes, being aware of your surroundings and living in the present.

"When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, the big thing I learnedwas what not to do. Basically, don't catastrophise. The only catastrophe in life is death, and we can't solve that. Everything else can be solved, because we are solvers by nature.

"I work as a psychoanalyst and I concentrate on what people are saying all day. As a broadcaster you have to get your message across, so when you're concentrating on the outside so much, the best thing to do is the opposite. I do that by writing – expressing feelings, essentially putting them down through words. The other major de-stressor is listening to classical music. People like Mozart really help me put my mind in order.

"I was in analysis for 20 years. To me, talking therapy has worked well. I believe people putting their being into words helps put their heads in order. I talk to people I respect and trust – I have friends who know not to offer solutions to problems. Being heard is hugely important and people come up with the solutions themselves.

"I had a great week a fortnight ago – I launched a book, there was a great article in the paper and it was all very exciting. But then I was in a slump afterwards because naturally there's a reaction to that excitement. It's just the body trying to rebalance after the high. But you learn to recognise that as perfectly normal."

Irish Independent

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