A book by Lewes author Neil del Strother is described as an adult fairy tale but explores far deeper waters than that superficial description suggests.
The core theme of ‘Girl with a Deer on a Lead’ is the experience and recovery of a boy with anorexia. The author wrote for newspapers, magazines and government consultancies but also holds a DipPsych so he is well informed about this condition and also child abuse issues.
When he is not writing he is a Journey Practitioner. He explained: “There’s a personal aspect to the story as my mother died when I was 21. I studied psychology but found it a little dry. The purpose of the ‘journey’ is to dive into the emotional issues involved when people face a trauma. Classic psychology can fit people into a template with a series of pre-determined outcomes - whereas the ‘journey’ is about opening up to ourselves. We go straight there, no messing about.
“Traditional counselling is about talking but you can get lost in words. With this you can go where you want; it’s a doorway into a room through that pain to achieve something that is meaningful. I would say there’s a feeling of alchemy about it.
“Anorexia interests me - I am not anorexic but the condition could be a misdirected way of expressing our own alienation. People think it only affects women and girls but that is not true. I have had spells of not eating for a while.
“If people think they want to die, often they just want their lives to change but feel powerless to make those changes. I hope this book, and my consultancy, can help them find a way forward.”
Neil was born in Cuckfield Hospital but has lived in Ardingly, Forest Row, Brighton and London. He aims to create a readership before selling rights to a publisher. Visit: www.theflowerinthedesert.
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