Posts Tagged ‘John Deri Mill Valley’
My childhood experiences were highly influential in my choice of profession.
My mother, Susan Deri, was a psychoanalyst. Trained in Budapest, she immigrated to the United States with my father during World War II. My father, Otto Deri, was a fine musician, a cellist. My parents divorced when I was six years old. Two years later, my brother (currently a psychologist in New York City) went away to boarding school. I was left at home alone with my mother.
She was a brilliant, highly creative thinker and clinician. She read widely in the domains of psychology, psychoanalysis, philosophy and religion. From my earliest childhood, she used me as a sounding board for her evolving ideas about symbolization and creativity. She ultimately wrote a book with that title, which was published after her death (Symbolization and Creativity, International Universities Press, 1984).
Both of my parents taught me how to listen. My mother challenged my young mind through communicating both concepts and emotional experiences that were way beyond my comprehension. In order to have a mother, I was forced to develop a precocious intelligence. I had to listen for dear life. My father taught me how to listen to music as a musician, a priceless gift.
Claude Levi-Strauss, the French anthropologist, has written that “the psychoanalyst listens; the shaman speaks.” In my work as a psychotherapist, I listen very closely to my patients. When I speak, I am serving as a channel for an intelligence that transcends my own. I bring the totality of my life experience into every moment that I share with each of my patients.
I am greatly blessed to love my work deeply. I would be honored to share it with you.