Dr George Burkitt
In June 2021 I retired after 50 years as a health professional, the last 25 years as a psychological medicine practitioner specialising in counselling and psychotherapy for men, teenage boys and their families. I wish now to share what I have learned and support others wanting to create a better future for the planet and its people.
In particular, I want to challenge the current pathologising model for understanding and working with so-called mood disorders including depression and anxiety and promote a radical new paradigm which sees uncomfortable emotions as having been provided by nature to serve as a potentially integrative or homeostatic mechanism for maintaining mental health and wellbeing and promoting personal growth and resilience.
This understanding has evolved through a lifetime of observation of the natural world and its animal and human inhabitants informed by a diverse socio-biological education and extensive experience as dental surgeon, medical practitioner, medical author and psychotherapist. Intertwined with this has been an amazingly interesting and, at times, challenging personal life as a world traveller, farmer and passionate gardener, conservationist, relationship partner, single father and seeker of purpose and meaning through the personal growth and men’s wellbeing movements.
This revamped site provides an insight into the professional activities that have brought me to this point in my career and drive my ongoing passion for life and knowledge.
PSYCHOLOGICAL MEDICINE PRACTICE
During the 25 years to 2021, I conducted a special interest general practice exclusively devoted to counselling and psychotherapy for men, teenage boys and their families. Most patients consulted alone although in some cases this evolved into working with couples, larger family groups and parents (including single mothers) of troubled teenage boys who themselves were unwilling to attend.
Patients came via referral from other GPs, mental health services, Community Corrections and other agencies. The most common presenting issues were:
• Depression, anxiety and stress
• Relationship difficulties, distress of separation/divorce and family court matters
• Parenting issues (e.g. teenage boys in a single-parent or blended family)
• Emotional, physical and sexual abuse
• Psychosexual, sexual orientation and gender identity issues
• Anger and domestic violence
• Lack of confidence and poor self-esteem
• Drug and alcohol dependence
GROUP, COMMUNITY AND CORPORATE CONSULTING
A challenging experiential approach engaging people powerfully, responsibly and compassionately, acknowledging and understanding the strengths and vulnerabilities of male psychology and behaviours.
• Facilitation of emotionally intelligent cultural change in male-dominated organisations
• Professional and personal development workshops
• Mentoring and peer support programmes