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" One touch of nature

makes all the world kin "

William Shakespeare

Listening to Children

February 26th, 2017

Dr Rachel Pinney

When I was training at the Institute of Psychosynthesis in the 1980s, I became friends with a fellow student, Meg Robinson, who was also training in a method of child psychotherapy pioneered by an eccentric doctor, Rachel Pinney, in north London. Meg suggested I read a book called Dibs – In Search of Self by Virginia Axline, whose way of working with children was similar to Rachel Pinney’s. What a book! It’s the only thing I’ve read where I’ve straight away ordered ten copies and given them to friends.
In a nutshell, Pinney’s and Axline’s way of working with kids was with total attention and with no attempt to be analytical, to second-guess what was motivating or troubling the child. No diagnosis, no prognosis, no strategizing. Mindfulness wasn’t hip in those days, but in reality it was working with similar principles of using the integrating, healing power of simple awareness without letting judgement get in the way.  Read more