Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Growing up with psychologists

As I've said before, I'm interested in how much awareness children have of their parents' careers. Does growing up with a psychologist as their Dad have much impact on my own boys? I doubt it, particularly as I'm now more of an editor really… they just get bought lots of magazines!

Others have written about that collision of professional and personal lives, notably Charles Fernyhough's beautiful 'A thousand days of wonder', a chronicle of his daughter's developing mind (and his use of a SenseCam with his son). Athena seems aware that she's part of something: indeed, a reviewer said that 'the book really takes off when Athena is old enough to take centre stage; when she starts to run the show, participating and rejecting her role in her father's sometimes needy experiments.'

But that's more about actively being a psychologist with your children, actually researching and experimenting with them. What about when your children are just hit by the fallout of you taking a psychological approach to life?

Some have blogged about it. And in The Psychologist we ran an interview with Clinical Psychologist Sarah Marzillier, who had the good fortune / misfortune to grow up with not one but two psychologists as parents. 

There's also this book, 'Growing Up Jung: Coming of Age as the Son of Two Shrinks', which I love the sound of. Micah Toub grew up with two Jungian psychologists. The review says:

'Jungian psychology evolved from the ideas of Carl Jung, a Swiss psychologist and disciple of Sigmund Freud before the two parted ways. Now better known as analytical psychology, the method attempts to understand our motivations by examining the subconscious mind, partly through dream interpretation.
It wasn't as if his folks ended each evening with a cry of "Micah, it's couch time!" But there were moments.
Toub writes about how his dad tells him, "That's good that I died in your dream, Micah. It means you're integrating your inner father and becoming more independent." After he confesses his fumbled attempt to lose his virginity as a teen, Toub's mom informs him, "You have to BE the erect penis in your life.'

I'm no Jungian, but that one is going in the memory locker to be produced at an appropriate time! Or, indeed, an inappropriate time…

I also like his Dad's own, rather understated, review:

"I'm certainly proud of my son for his accomplishments and glad he's been able to use what he understands about Jungian psychology for his own development," he said.

1 comment:

  1. my mother is a psychologist. she is more behaviorist than psychodynamic. so more conditioning than talking about feelings or dream analysis. maybe because I was never really satisfied with her answers when i question her about people's behavior, i became curious and took psychology for myself.