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‘What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.’

Lao Tzu (604-531 BC)

The caterpillar sees the coming change as the end. And it is right: it is the end as a caterpillar. Lao Tzu, the Chinese sage, feels for the poor caterpillar. He knows it is not the end but a transformation in the caterpillar, a profound change that turns it into a beautiful butterfly.

If only we could reassure the caterpillar that life would be better by changing and that it would have a new start, it would not be so scared to change. But the caterpillar can’t imagine what it would be like to become a butterfly.

Like the caterpillar, we need to change in ourselves if we are going to feel better and live a more enjoyable and satisfying life.

Like the caterpillar, it is difficult to believe that anything could make us better by changing ourselves.

We need to adapt to life as it actually is. We need to face our moods and feelings, but not to think about them or to analyse them: just to face them.

Adaptation brings brings profound changes in us that we could not have thought possible.

Evolution occurs by adapting to live in harmony with the environment. We need to do the same, with the world we live in, with each other and with ourselves.

Surely, no one wants to be a robot or be controlled by drugs. Surely, like everyone else we want to be authentic; we want to live our life for ourselves; not depend on others or on drugs.


Are you suffering from any of the following?

Anger and rage
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – ADHD
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A study on teaching a group of doctors Adaptation Practice to develop resilience to cope with stress, anxiety and depression.

BJMP Study by Clive Sherlock and Chris JohnDoctors stress, anxiety, depression


All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug DependenceParliament antidepressants

Watch the video of the meeting with a panel of international experts on psychiatric drugs.


You can read more from the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry.


Probably the most disturbing and worrying difference between medicine and psychiatry is that in medicine, if all the tests are normal, say for the heart, the conclusion is, ‘There is nothing wrong with your heart’.
Alarmingly, in psychiatry, when all the tests are normal, the conclusion is: [click to continue…]


Anne Garvey on a radical self-help approach

Health and wellbeing – Tuesday 4 May 2004

Five years ago, Dr Clive Sherlock came face to face with a runaway patient. She had escaped from a psychiatric hospital minutes before she was about to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act. “She was in a sad state,” he explains. “Her husband and son had died within a year and she had a history of depression and anxiety. No one was doing anything for her.” Under his care, she recovered enough to live a normal life. He is quite sure that, had she been sectioned that day, she would still be a mental health invalid. [click to continue…]