So how did I get to be the relationship Doctor? I certainly didn’t plan it! Maybe life had plans for me. This is a very condensed version of my journey.
I was born in 1945 to a farming family in rural Australia. My parents had market gardens, orchards and ran cattle – black Angus actually before that breed became associated with top quality beef. From an early age, I helped, whether I wanted to or not.
What I learned was practical, and gave me a great respect for the farmers who dedicate their lives to producing our food. I learned about depending on the weather and the season. And the market. Neither of my parents were tertiary-educated and left school at 14, which was quite common at the time.
What I learned about growing things awakened a life-long passion for gardening, especially producing food.
If I had been a boy, I probably would have followed my father into farming, but that was not a consideration in that era.
I was also obsessed with playing the piano, and that didn’t quite fit with farming.
In addition to a love for the natural world, I loved people and from an early age my heart was bursting with compassion for the suffering and need of others.
In the uninhibited way of a child, I tended to stray cats and injured dogs. I gravitated to those who struggled in life and I wanted to help. Of course, I had my own struggles too. These struggles gave me insight into the struggles and pain of others.
My professional life
Initially, I believed the best way to help others would be through understanding the causes of physical illness, and the promoting of bodily health. No doubt my closeness to the land influenced this choice, as well as my health problems as a child. So I studied natural medicine and practiced for many years.
However, I soon realized that ill-health often, if not always, has a psychological origin or component. Thus began a long training in psychological medicine, beginning in the 1980s and spanning more than 30 years. My training includes Jungian depth psychology and psychoanalysis. I gained a Masters and PhD (in psychoanalytic philosophy) along the way.
The guiding principle of my life is to make a positive difference and to find the most relevant way to make that difference.
My way to make that difference has changed over time. At the outset, I had no idea I was to become the Relationship Doctor.
Since the 1970s I have worked in private practice, and follow closely what you, my clients need. I’ve also lived the phases of my life, through relationships, parenting and career. My real teacher is my life experience – and your life experience.
At every turn, relationships are the core of your life – and of mine. But it took the breakdown of my long-term relationship for me to go into the depths of what makes relationships work – or not. I became more courageous about tackling the hard stuff, both in myself and in my clients.
I have been hatching these Relationship Insights all my life – I just didn’t know it. In 2015 I started writing them down, thinking that these were small isolated writing pieces. I have done some training as a writer with Barbara Turner-Vesselago, and I enjoy writing.
“Writing these insights combines three things that are most important to me: using a life-time of professional skills, writing creatively, and contributing to making the world a better place.”
The inspiration for these Insights continues. In sessions with clients, certain themes come up repeatedly. These repeated themes coalesce into yet another Insight! Additionally, the work I do in Relationships Workshops provides some of the subjects for Insights.
Backpacking in the Canadian Rockies near Banff. Being in wild nature, accessible only by walking, has been one of my greatest pleasures.
What is important to me
As this is meant to be “About Me”, I must include my love of walking in nature and have done some hiking in spectacular places around the world.
Keeping connected to my family and friends is very important to me, and as they are scattered far and wide; this means lots of travelling.
I’ve played piano since the age of 7. I also took up the harpsichord about 30 years ago and have had the incredible joy of playing in ensembles, including the Telemann ensemble for 10 years. Playing in an ensemble, orchestra or band is a special kind of relationship. Thank you all!
Copyright Kaye Gersch 2018