Susie Orbach is doing her bit to publicise the benefits of therapy to Daily Mail readers, thank goodness. However she limits the field to “women of around 50,” and, well, “women.”
OK, one of my friends has a cushion on his chair saying “behind every successful man is an exhausted woman” and I think we can guess who bought it for him. But actually it was the leading psychotherapist Carl Gustav Jung who coined the phrase “mid-life crisis.” He certainly included men. Let us hope male readers of the Mail do not feel excluded.
Jung’s point was that in the first half of life we spend our time growing up, making our way in work, raising our children, and generally being focused on the outside world. At mid-life, our attention naturally changes and different things seem to become more important to us. Questions come up like “what is my life about?” and “what do I want to do with the rest of my life?” Unless we avoid the whole area by either chasing younger members of the opposite sex, shopping, etc., which don’t solve many problems for long.
And yes, therapy can help us pick our way through that time, no matter what age it hits or what gender we are. We can find plenty of satisfaction and meaning, if we look.