Therapeutic reflections on The Interview

So often we see and hear what we’re looking for rather than what is real. In his much talked about interview, Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, shows the profound impact that therapy can have on an individual who is ready to look back on their life and make choices about their future. As I reflect on this, I can see four areas that affect all of us, regardless of our background.


Who we are on the inside and how others perceive us is not the same thing. This might be true in the family, in the workplace and numerous other groupings. We already know this about celebrities and political leaders. This fine if you are marketing a particular persona for your brand image but it is quite a different and more painful thing if others are deliberately spreading inaccurate information about you. None of us would like that. Especially if it’s done on a global scale and they get paid to do it. Connecting to and appreciating our own story gives us a deepening sense of our own self, autonomy and resilience.

Therapy helps us to take an honest look at ourselves, who we have been and how we want to show up in the world. Many of us become more self-aware as we get older. This could lead to self-acceptance and a desire to continue growing and learning. For others it may be an excuse and explanation for all that happens to them, abdicating the potential for choice and growth.

The potential for transformation

This new self-awareness could lead to lasting transformation. We do not need to continue to be who we have been. We’re often drawn to stories of great transformation. I know that is particularly true in religious circles, when a former criminal finds faith and the put all their energy into helping others to turn away from crime. There could be the unhealthy person who then becomes an advocate for a healthy lifestyle. But transformation does not need to be so drastic to be worthwhile. We love those fully packaged make-over stories but forget that we can do this for ourselves, from the inside out.

Personality and birth order

Personality and birth order affects our experiences in our family of birth. We know this is true in our family but often forget this is true for other people too. The experiences of the eldest, the youngest, the middle and only children are all different. The state of the relationship when you are born may be different to what your siblings experienced. I know with my siblings, with differing age gaps, we have memories of our parents at different ages. For example, parents who are newly-weds are not the same parents when child number four comes along.

In Prince Harry’s case, and this is somewhat obvious but important, he is the only one of his father’s children not to be an heir. The Queen had 4 children so 3 of them shared that experience of not being the heir. The Cambridges have 3 children so 2 of them will be able to share that experience. But Prince Harry is one of two. Every day, every mealtime, every holiday, being reminded that you are not the chosen one and there is nothing you can do about it for the rest of your life.

Living our values

Becoming aware of our values can be very empowering. If we decide that truth is a value we hold dear then we will tell the truth regardless of how uncomfortable it makes us feel. There might be a lot to lose by telling the truth so it can take a lot of courage.  Families sometimes encourage us to keep secrets to avoid shame and guilt. This is particularly true in families where there is abuse.  Some families will believe the child and report the abuser. Other families will accuse the child of lying and leave them unprotected.  In those spaces where people are believed and therapy is sought, healing and forgiveness can happen. For those who are trapped and not believed, the wound is deeper, and healing can take a lifetime.

We can all become more self-aware, begin to live to the values we hold and remember that other people may be going through a lot internally. Childhood, adolescence, adulthood and ageing are all difficult in different ways.  We live forward and reflect after.  We are all a work-in-progress, and we can’t tell anyone else how to live their one precious life.

New book!

Black British Members of Parliament in the House of Commons

22 mini biographies of serving Black MP’s, including well-known names and many groundbreakers. Be inspired by their dedication and achievement, succeeding against the odds. They are all different and represent the Conservative and Labour parties. Some have been around for many years and others only entered parliament in 2019.

Black British Members of Parliament
Black Members of Parliament in the House of Commons

Meet your representatives and read what they are trying to do with the opportunities they now have. You will be inspired by some and may be annoyed by others. Find out more by ordering your copy today

M.P.’s to access mental health services in Westminister


In June 2012 several members of parliament from all parties engaged in a discussion on mental health. Many were very open about their personal experiences living with  challenges around mental health.

Today members approved a referral service and treatment fund of £25,000 per annum, enough to cover the equivalent of 1 counsellor. Referrals will be made by the already existing Parliamentary Safety Health and Wellbeing Service.

Mental health affects us all and it is good to see politicians in the House of Commons recognising their vulnerabilities. It takes courage to ask for help.

What do you think about this? Is there support in your workplace and are you able to ask for help?

Do we need cameras in court?


I am surprised that the government are thinking of allowing cameras into court.  It seems so unnecessary and once it starts it would be difficult to reverse.  The trend will be for cameras in more places.  As a judge asked recently, “what would be the purpose?”  Is it a deterrent or a way of informing the rest of the population?  It is unlikely to serve as the former and the population already have access to information about how the courts work.  Does witnessing sentencing give us confidence in the system or encourage us to sit in judgement of others where we then imagine we know everything about them.


Justice has always had to be seen-to-be-done so nothing has changed.  Is it that we have no trust in professionals anymore?  Do we now need to see the shame, pain and humility (or arrogance) on the guilty person?  What’s next, public flogging?  There are many conspiracy theorists out there that need to see everything before they can believe it, and pandering to that is not the way to take our communities forward.


It seems to be that it is already difficult for ex offenders to make their way back into being a fully paid up member of society and public labelling of their image cannot help that problem.  Also, so many offenders are young people who may be able to turn over a new leaf but with limited positive experiences of life and poor expectations from society they might become less likely to reform.  When we’ve heard of their crimes and seen their faces the mental image stays with us.  Although willing we may find it just too difficult to give them another chance.


My fear is that it would be like having the OJ Simpson trial on a continuous loop.  There will also be barristers playing up to the camera, auditioning for their cameo role or mini series.  Maybe instead of justice being done we end up with a downplaying of the complex nuanced aspects of a case and the overdoing of visual aspects and easy sound bites.  Have we not got enough real problems to sort out in our communities without putting limited resources into a whole new policy and procedural setup?


This seems to be about demonstrating the punishment to those involved in the recent riots.  We seem to want to put people into boxes and not allow for change, personal development or transformation.  We seem to be so focused on shame and punishment that we’ve forgotten about rehabilitation.


Our attention needs to be focused on reducing recidivism rates through better use of rehabilitation, education, guidance, therapy and mentoring.  People need a reason and a hope to try to improve their lives and being globally known, as an offender will not help their motivation for change.


The whole experiment might backfire with offenders getting more street-cred the longer their case is seen in the media.  Notoriety may be its own prize and provide opportunity to be recruited for bigger jobs on the inside.


There is such a potential for negative impact when there is no harm in leaving things as they are.  People will still be convicted and the details will be in the newspapers and anyone of us can go to our local courthouse to observe if we fancy it.  Nothing needs to change.



  • Broadcasters would benefit; as here is another reality show they do not need to script or be creative with – it writes itself.  And they may be able to raise advertising revenue to meet the interests of their audience.  Security alarms anyone?


  • Many, though not all, barristers and judges may like to be seen in their best light – all dressed up and clever and authoritative.


  • As the audience we struggle to keep our reality and fiction separate at the moment.  Actors get heavily criticised when they take on difficult challenging roles.  Life imitating art and art imitating life will become even more indistinguishable. No harm is done by leaving things as they are.


What do you think?