The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind. Kahlil Gibran
Welcome! I hope to write some interesting posts in the months and years to come. I thought I’d start with a post concerning my work as a psychotherapist and how this impacted on my writing.
When I came to write my first novel, Dangerous Waters, I had been a psychotherapist for over 20 years. My work provided me with the opportunity not only to study the human psyche at close quarters but also to hear many tales of love and loss. Most of my clients’ problems were really centred on relationship issues – be they with parents, lovers, friends, work colleagues or children. Our life becomes a unique life through our relationships with others – we see ourselves reflected back from how others view us. In other words, if our parents always seem disappointed in us and our achievements then we see ourselves as failures even if it’s obvious to others that we’re not. Low self-esteem invariably stems from our childhood experiences.
My main protagonist, Jeanne, does not suffer from low self-esteem as she has been loved, but has experienced tragedy and loss at a young age. Again, this is something I’ve worked with over the years and I’ve never ceased to be amazed at how well some people cope with tragedy. Others not so well! In Dangerous Waters I wanted to explore how someone reacts to such a situation and at the beginning of the novel, Jeanne is a bit of a lost soul. She appears a little weak but that is only in response to recent events in her life and I wanted her to get stronger as the story develops and eventually find love again.
‘Bad’ characters are also important in the story and one in particular is a complex person who has their ‘good’ points. I have never worked with criminals but had come across some very unlikeable characters!
My second novel, Finding Mother, also draws to some extent on my work as a therapist as it follows a woman’s search for her natural mother. This will be published in 2013.
Anne Allen is the award-winning author of The Guernsey Novels. By profession she was a psychotherapist, however, is now retired from the day job to concentrate on writing. Anne has a restless soul and has lived in many fascinating places, including the beautiful island of Guernsey where she lived for fourteen years.