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What we are and may become as persons, Dr Nutting contends, is precisely our relationships. He challenges a long-term mindset endemic in psychiatry and psychology, namely, the presumption to label deviations from statistical ‘norms’ as pathology. Key to recovery from psychiatric diagnosis trauma, he argues, is truly respectful human relationships. Nutting himself was assigned ‘Asperger`s Syndrome’. A way of understanding personality in relationships is the Enneagram, an analytic spiritual psychology model, still controversial whilst growing in influence. Here its power to elucidate the dynamics of difficult and healing relationships is tested against the author`s seventy-odd years` life-experience as child, adult, patient, psychiatric chaplain and academic.

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