Letter: New year hope

We are pretty judgmental about self-destructive behaviour even though such behaviour does not appear to be simply the result of personal weakness, peer pressure or heredity.

The true meaning of such conduct is likely to be unconscious and develops because it serves deep-seated needs which are important building blocks of our identities.

Thus New Year's resolutions rarely work because for every conscious resolution to change there is an unconscious commitment to keep things exactly the way they are.

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In spite of the advances in psychoanalysis in recent decades we seem to be as far as ever from understanding the forces that motivate our behaviour and inhibit our development.

Yet in my time in the ministry I was aware that some do manage to hang on long enough for the demons to subside and battle through the surf into the quiet lagoon of later years.

(Rev Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews