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Posted: 28 November 2007

Living our times, moment by moment

With the skilled observation of a psychologist and the gifted expression of a born writer, in a new book Living our Times, published by Gill and Macmillan, Marie Murray, Director of Student Counselling at University College Dublin, explores aspects of living that affect us all.

A selection of her twice monthly columns from the Irish Times, Health Supplement, since early 2004, the book covers such topics as childhood and adolescence; psychological; emotions and behaviours; ethical and social issues; loss and suffering; family, kinship and relationships; and words.

Recalling Marie Murray’s contributions to his RTE 1 Radio Programme, RTE presenter and broadcaster, Pat Kenny who co-launched the book said: “Marie was like the font of all wisdom, although she wears it very lightly. She could make sense of the kaleidoscope of emotions.”

“One of Marie’s great strengths is the quality of her writing,” said Peter Murtagh, Managing Editor at The Irish Times, who co-launched the book. “She has a real way of communicating with people outside of her discipline and she delights in words.”

“Her writing conveys a rich understanding of human nature, in all its guises. Whether it is the emotion of regret or the simple act of smiling, Marie has a knack and a skill of picking at and unwinding the issue in an interesting and thought provoking way,” he said.

Marie Murray on smiling:

“Smiles may be formal, friendly, flattering or flagrantly flirtatious. Smiling may be haughty and autocratic, as if a favour has been bestowed. The polite smile often conveys unspoken disapproval. Smiles may be dismissive or malicious, simpering or superior, shy supercilious or conciliatory. There are sly, snide, sneering sarcastic and spiteful smiles. There are smiles that are contemptuous, casual or cruel. There are smiles that are warm, affirming and supportive: that gather us into the group.”

Marie Murray, a clinical psychologist with more than 30 years experience, is Director of Student Counselling at University College Dublin. Living our Times is a selection of her twice monthly columns which appeared in The Irish Times, Health Supplement. She has been writing the columns since early 2004.

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Living our times moment by moment