Reflections on conversations which ‘returned the normalising gaze’— Peter Ord and Rosemary


Normal is a word that has a history in geometry that was applied as a measure of human functioning early in the 19th Century. As has been noted elsewhere the concepts of normal and normality have become taken-for-granted ideas within western culture as if they have an existence independent from their historical and cultural origins. The effects of the ‘normalising gaze’ have been widely studied. This paper is a description of a therapeutic encounter in which conversations were shared which ‘turned the spotlight back on the normalising gaze’. These conversations were shared by Peter and Rosemary. This paper has been written with the hope that other people (both therapists and those consulting therapists) can be inspired to find their own ways to expose and have some fun while returning the normalising gaze.