The long game

Prospect Magazine has a gently philosophical article on legendary England cricket captain and now, psychoanalyst, Mike Brearley. It weaves the philosophies of cricket and psychotherapy into a wonderful article that muses on the similarities between the test match and psychoanalysis, the Twenty20 and CBT.

[Americans: skip this paragraph] Brearley captained England during the legendary 1981 Ashes series and is often cited as channelling Botham’s uneven temperament into a focused performance that won the seemingly doomed series.

After retiring from first class cricket, Brearley trained to become a psychoanalyst and is now president of the British Psychoanalytical Society.

The article is both delightful to read and remarkably balanced, giving many such gems on the links between therapy and cricket:

Cricket, particularly in its five-day form, requires intelligence, astuteness and an ability to withstand long periods where nothing much happens while keeping alert for the moment when action erupts — not unlike psychoanalysis itself.

Link to Prospect article ‘Freud in the slips’.

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