Alone in the Classroom by Elizabeth Hay

By Elizabeth Hay

In a small prairie institution in 1929, Connie Flood is helping a backward pupil, Michael Graves, find out how to learn. watching them and darkening their lives is the important, Parley Burns, whose unusual behaviour culminates in an assault so tense its repercussions proceed to the current day.

Connie’s niece, Anne, tells the tale. Impelled by means of interest approximately her dynamic, adventurous aunt and her extra traditional mom, she revisits Connie’s previous and her mother’s damaged formative years. within the method, she unravels the enigma of Parley Burns and the mysterious (and unrelated) deaths of 2 younger women. because the novel strikes deeper into their lives, the triangle of imperative, instructor, scholar opens out into different emotional triangles – aunt, niece, lover; mom, daughter, granddaughter – till a surprising, capsizing love thrusts Anne herself right into a newly autonomous lifestyles.

This spellbinding story – set in Saskatchewan and the Ottawa Valley – crosses generations and cuts to the bone. It probes the roots of obsessive love and hate, how the hurts and needs of early life persist and are handed on as though within the blood. It lays naked the urgency of researching what we have been by no means informed in regards to the previous. And it celebrates the method of changing into who we're in a global packed with startling connections that lie simply out of sight.

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Extra info for Alone in the Classroom

Sample text

The concept of the ‘resistant’ family may also be unhelpful. e. a ‘perturbation’) as due to the selection by the therapist of the wrong perturbation for those particular circumstances, rather than labelling the family or the individual ‘resistant’. The above ideas do not tell us anything much about how to determine which perturbation is likely to result in the desired response. This is the very essence of therapy, of course, and will be the subject of most of the rest of this book. However, Dell’s concept of coherence is a precursor to the more contemporary idea of constraints (Breunlin, 1999), which we will discuss below.

It is mediated by gesture, body and limb postures, facial expression, tone of voice and the sequence, rhythm and cadence of the words themselves. It also takes in poetry, music, painting and other forms of artistic expression. Other modes of analogic communication are caresses, blows, kisses, hugs and other forms of contact. Also, the ways people dress, use make-up and generally present themselves carry their own analogic messages. Analogic communications are very relevant in family therapy, for the therapist must be fully alert to and understand, to the greatest possible extent, the messages the family members are sending each other.

14–15) Some Basic Theoretical Concepts 43 Watzlawick goes on to suggest that the second of the two ‘languages’ is more effective in producing the kinds of changes sought in psychotherapy. This language is believed to be the business primarily of the right cerebral hemisphere, which ‘tends to draw illogical conclusions based on clang associations and confusions of literal and metaphorical meanings, to use condensations, composite words and ambiguities, puns and other word games’ (Watzlawick, 1978, p.

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