The Gossamer Thread


The Gossamer Thread is a memoir of my work as a psychologist and psychotherapist covering almost four decades (from 1969 – 2006). I wrote it because I wanted to show psychotherapy from the inside, from the perspective of the therapist or, more accurately, from one therapist’s perspective. Therapists have written about their personal experiences before. However, no one to my knowledge has written about the therapist’s personal journey as I have done, how I changed from a bumptious and overconfident believer in the power of behaviour therapy to a more reflective, less certain and more attentive therapist working in a psychodynamic and person-centred way. The memoir is a story, my story, but it also the story of  the people I met and tried to help sometimes successfully, sometimes not. As I explain in the Preface to the book, these stories are based upon actual cases but have been fictionalised in order to protect client confidentiality.




“I cannot recommend this book highly enough… John Marzillier writes in a way that is a pleasure to read, being open and personal, always accessible and frequently with humour.” [Patrick Casement, author of Learning from the Patient]

“I found this book so riveting that I could not put it down and read it in one setting…John Marzillier describes his personal journey, revealing the human stories behind the distilled ‘science’ of psychotherapy. It will be an effective antidote any tendency to assume that any one approach has the answer.” [Phil Mollon, author of Psychoanalytic Energy Psychology]

“An insightful and entertaining account of what it takes to work as a psychotherapist… John Marzillier has produced a book that is warmly written, very informative and a pleasure to read.” [Paul Gilbert, author of The Compassionate Mind]