Your childhood shaped today and tomorrow


Blog post – 29th January 2023

By Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling


The unexamined life versus the frank autobiography

How to change your future by changing your past

Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, 2023


Sex-love and gender wars1B, Front cover Sex-love book – I don’t suppose anybody knows for sure what Plato meant by his slogan: “The unexamined life is not worth living”.

But, in the modern world, the unexamined life equates to “not doing your therapy”.

How do I mean that?

Everybody is harmed to some extent in their family of origin; some more than others; but nobody escapes completely. And what most people do with their childhood harm is to cover it over with a layer of something sweet and superficially nice; a socially distorted PR job. A false self.

Mostly, people do this because doing one’s therapy hurts. It hurts like having a tooth out; and the costs and benefits are similar. If you have a decayed tooth out, it will hurt, having the injection; having the extraction; and when the anaesthetic wears off, the wound will hurt for a day or two. Blood clots may become visible on the tongue, and so on.

However, if you do not have the tooth out, it rots in your gum, and causes worse pain later on, including the possibility of brain damage, because of the proximity of the infection to the brain.

  1. The unexamined life; the downside…

Kindle coverThe unexamined life is just like that rotting tooth left in the gum. It rots away, causing low level problems for a long time, before it flares up into a much worse problem. Better to have it out (or filled) as soon as the problem becomes visible for the first time; and better to get into therapy as soon as you spot that something horrible happened to you in childhood, which you have never explored or digested.

  1. The frank autobiography, and the problem of getting hold of repressed memories…

You can do your therapy on your childhood in a face-to-face encounter with a helpful psychotherapist or counsellor; or you can do it yourself in a journal or notebook. If you decide to write it out, you can do it as autobiography; fictionalized autobiography; drama; poetry; or letters to your childhood carers which you never send. I did some of my therapy on my horrible childhood in the form of psychoanalysis, but I have also written a lot of it out in the form of fictionalized autobiography of my alter ego: Daniel O’Beeve.***

  1. Hack writing versus principled writing…

If you decide to write your autobiography, and to publish it, then up comes defence mechanisms. Will people dislike me for this? Will I look good or bad? How can I sanitize my public appearance? How can I distort the story in order to look like a hero instead of a victim of circumstances?

Considerations of those kinds can lead you to abandon principled writing, and to substitute hack writing. Hack writers get well paid for producing rubbish and garbage and pulp fiction. They add nothing to the world, except more junk. Principled writers add some value to the human condition. They liberate or ennoble or rescue; or encourage the growth of hope, compassion, charity, love. They strive to contribute to the creation of a better world, by exposing the underbelly of our current forms of life.

  1. The determination to keep going…

Road to better lifeHack writers are beloved of the publishing industry. Principled writers are unpopular with vested interests. They are a nuisance to the forces of political expediency. They undermine the evil side of human nature.

  1. The courage to face the unadorned truth…

And principled writing, including writing autobiography or fictionalized autobiography about a difficult childhood takes a lot of courage. Fortitude. To look ugliness and pain in the face is not an easy task.

  1. The importance of leavening of the text…

But principled writers do not unnecessarily strain or drain their readers. They strive to sustain the flame of hope in the darkest caves that they explore. The work with the principle of leavening their texts. Of finding the moments of humour among the images of pain and suffering.

And the therapy of principled writing heals. Old wounds dry out, and begin to heal; leaving small but almost invisible scars as medals of honour. And the writer is stronger in the broken parts that have been honoured in their texts.

This is what I strove to do in *Daniel’s Disconnected Heart*.


And that is what I am now working on in

*The Sex-Love Question and the Gender Wars*.


Daniel for cover - 001Whatever wounds you have, hidden in your childhood history, I do hope you will try to dress them; process them; and heal them. And one way to do that is to practice principled writing about them, whether as private autobiographical writing, or published fictionalized autobiography.

“The unexamined life is not worth living”.

And travelling incognito is not nearly as exciting and enjoyable as telling the world who you are, and where you have been!

With my very best wishes for your happiness and healing.


Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling


Childhood developmental trauma recovery

Blog post – 17th November 2022

How I recovered from childhood developmental trauma disorder, and found myself in an expected paradise…

By Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling


Hello, and Welcome.

Kindle coverOur mothers have the most dramatic effect upon our psychical and mental health, and upon our life chanced. So choose your mother carefully!

I have recently written a new version of the first forty years of my life, to explore the journey I had to go on in order to fix the damage that was caused to me in the first two years of life by my incompetent, very young, damaged mother.

In reviewing my life, I thought this was a most important principle:

“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.”

Anais Nin, in her book: ‘D. H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study’. 1964/1994.

So I explored the various states that I went through; sometimes using factual autobiography, sometimes using fictionalized autobiography, and sometimes using the stories of archetypal characters from my dreams and reveries.

This is how the publisher’s Foreword begins:

“When a child walks away from an abusive parent – when they are old enough to leave – they unknowingly, and unwillingly, carry that abusive parent in their heart and mind. And most often they head off into a life in which they repeat the same kind of abusive relationship with a “love partner”.

When the physical bruises of abusive parenting heal, the psychological scars remain intact, hidden in the subconscious mind of the abused child. And also stored in the physical tensions of body-memory.

Jim Byrne thought he’d walked away. Left it all behind. Sailed into a new life, at the age of eighteen years. But his physically and emotionally abusive childhood relationship with his mother (and his father) came back to haunt him at the age of twenty-two years.

At that point, his life imploded. He’d been over-consuming (“abusing”) sleeping pills for a few weeks, following total rejection by his peer group on a barren military squadron of damaged young men.

Eventually an ambulance came and got him; took him to hospital; where he saw a psychoanalyst for weekly meetings. After three meetings, the analyst told him that he (Jim) needed to examine his relationship with his mother.”

For more, please click this link! The story of Jim’s journey through uncharted territory in search of love!


Dr Jim's officeBest wishes,


Dr Jim Byrne

Doctor of Counselling, and survivor of childhood developmental trauma disorder.


To see this book online, at an Amazon outlet near you, please click one of the following links. (There may be a couple of days’ delay in appearing on some Amazon outlets)., US+   Amazon UK + Ireland  
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Love, sex, relationships and parting

Blog post – 27th September 2022

Broken hearts wandering in a trackless void

By Jim Byrne

Front cover, Wounded HeartsMy work involves a lot of time spent with unhappy couples, helping them to find a way out of their emotional misery. This is territory which I have know since early childhood, having grown up with unhappily married parents. My own first marriage was a mess.

But I have persisted with the challenge of how to recover from inadequate emotional wiring, inherited from badly wired parents, and I have found my way into a wonderfully calm and loving world of joy and peace.

Recently I have had a very productive few days of writing short stories. I wrote one per day for three days – all about love and lovelessness – and the pleasures and pains of romantic love.  I then added two pre-existing stories (from my memoir) and created a book of short stories, which I published yesterday; and which is available today in the UK; and it will be available in the US and Europe in the next two or three days.

The five stories in this collection were designed to be therapeutic for myself, but also for my readers. Please take a look at the page of description of this book, here:

Blue boy pictureWounded hearts wandering hopelessly…

Five short stories about love, sex, passion and parting

Best wishes,


Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling, and Creative Writer and Writing Coach


Authorship as a surging current of emotional energy

Blog Post: Sunday 18th September 2022

By Jim Byrne


Title: The floodgates and the writer’s surging tide…

Jim-portrait-001Writers are people who write.

I write something every day, normally quite a lot.

But these days, it is mostly not fiction; not writing for pleasure.

Mostly I write psychoanalytic reports for my counselling clients. Analysing the real life dramas of people in pain.

Or I write and update web pages about my professional services.

And over the past period of busy report writing, from mid-December 2021, up to yesterday, I have longed to write something fictional; something from my heart; about my interior emotional life.

Then yesterday, when I finished writing a long report for a client, the floodgates burst open, and out came a story that has been fermenting in the basement of my mind for a few days.

This is how it begins:

Blue Boy Karma

By Jim Byrne

September 17th 2022

Copyright © Jim Byrne, 2022


Blue boy pictureVasha Popov screwed his little face up, like a well-squeezed dishcloth. He stared into the big, mottled mirror, looking for the echo of his facial contortions. And there it was. This was him. This blue face, with the sad calf eyes and the downturned mouth. And there in the apparent ugliness of his blue face was the evidence, it seemed, of why Mamu did not let him touch her, or speak to her, or get close to her.

His blue hair did not help, regimented as it was by Mamu’s daily brushing with her harsh scrubbing brush, with which she would whack him if he did not stand still while she vigorously brushed out the tangles.

When he relaxed his little blue face, it did not seem quite so ugly, but the dark blue hair and the mid-blue skin were an unbecoming combination.


To read more, please go here: Blue Boy Karma, Therapeutic fictional writing.***


Of course, this story had its origins and development: like my wife’s flowers outside the front of our home. She had to acquire the soil; buy the seeds and plants; do the planting and watering and feeding. And to lovingly watch over her emerging leaves and flowers.

Similarly, I take certain actions each day, and some on a less frequent basis – such as three days per week – to build up the literary flowers that I want to grow.

Recently I have increased the number of strategies and techniques that I use to produce fictional writing; and it has born leaves and flowers, yesterday, and today, in the form of the short story above.

And one of the things I like to do with my experience of writing is to use it to help emerging authors to increase their creativity and productivity. I do this through my authorship coaching services. For more on my Authorship Coaching service, please go here: Authorship and creative writing coaching.***


If you are a writer, I wish you a productive, creative, satisfying day. If you wish to become a productive, creative writer, then you must study the art and science of your subject.

The rewards are rich indeed!

Best wishes,

Dr Jim's officeJim

Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling, and Writing Coach

ABC Bookstore;

and ABC Counselling and Psychotherapy Services.


Low-cost eBook on Trauma Recovery

Blog Post – 13th October 2021

By Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling


How to process your childhood traumatic experiences: A low-cost, self-help book


Dr Jim's officeHaving spent almost twenty-five years working with counselling clients with some degree of trauma, from childhood or later periods of their lives, I have written my experience up in the form of a low-cost self-help book.

I also had to resolve my own trauma resulting from my highly dysfunctional family of origin.

Here is a quick insight into the approach I have developed:

The concept of Traumatic Dragons, and the process of healing

Traumatic Dragons dBook coverTraumatic memories are painful, and so the vast majority of people are highly reluctant to face them down. To suggest to most people that they should revisit their traumatic memories would seem to be a form of madness; a kind of masochism on the part of the traumatized individual, and a form of sadism on the part of the trauma therapist. Why face up to a dragon when you can hide?!?

To ask them to turn around and face back (and ‘walk back’) through their history, reviewing the things that were done to them that made them most fearful, miserable, unhappy, stressed, anxious, horrified, shamed, guilty, and ragefully angry, must seem quite perverse to some people. 

And yet, that can be an important part of the healing process; provided:

Initial requirements:

  1. That enough time has elapsed for some distancing to take place – which is not a problem for an adult revisiting their childhood abuse history. (The minimum gap that I recommend for trauma therapy is at least two years between trauma and therapy!)
  2. That they have done some form of body work, such as yoga, tai chi, judo, karate; or therapeutic massage, Feldenkrais, or craniosacral therapy; etc., to help to heal the body memories of their trauma – (including body-armouring and chronic tension);
  3. That they have been able to develop new perspectives upon human behaviour, and human experience, since the time of their abuse. This includes experience of re-framing (or re-interpreting) negative experiences – including the kind of re-framing taught in this book. (If their basic perceptions are still the same as they were when the trauma occurred, then revisiting their traumatic memories will simply prove to be a form of re-traumatizing themselves!)
  4. That they feel they have recovered the capacity to relate intimately and securely to at least one other person;
  5. That they are living with somebody they trust; who has agreed to support them if they become overwhelmed by grief or shame or some other difficult emotional state; or that they have a trauma therapist who will assist them over the phone or Skype;
  6. That they have the mental space to do this difficult work; and that they are not too busy, or too stressed by their current life circumstances, to take on this extra burden.



Traumatic Dragons dBook cover, 2This book could help you to resolve some of your own traumatic experiences, or it could help you to help somebody else to recover.

To see the book on Amazon, please go to Amazon eBook on Trauma.***

But for more information about this book, please go to ABC Bookstore: Traumatic Dragons book.***


I hope you find this information interesting and helpful.

Best wishes,


Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling

Email: Dr Jim Byrne.***

Joint Director:  ABC Bookstore Online UK