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'Tom' by Jake Curtis


This photograph, and the person in it, is called ‘Tom.’ I chose to use it here because I think it is very lovely and rather mysterious. Half of the figure of Tom is visible and apparent but half is unseen. The background is shrouded, indefinable. The figure is walking to the light.

To me, the photo is evocative of the nature of the psychotherapeutic endeavour to get to know another person and be with them as they move towards a clearer understanding of themselves. It evokes a sense of being able to see something of a person but by no means everything. Most of who that person is, can be suggested but not fully known. Their background and the meaning of their environment in their life is shrouded and indefinable.

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy recognises the complexity of the individual human mind, the conscious awareness of self and more importantly the unconscious self, which is so much larger and more influential than we generally realise.

Most of a person’s mind is unknown but can become more available to them through the work of psychotherapy in the context of the relationship with the psychotherapist. In this way, someone can become more fully themselves and more effectively engaged with the people and the environment in which they live. They can become more able to live their lives to the full.

In turn, I find that my own mind grows and develops in response to the work that I do with others. It has great value for me too.

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