For more than twenty years, before I became a full-time psychotherapist, I was an academic, a university teacher of theories of social life. The move from the one profession to the other was eased by four transitional years at the University of London’s Goldsmiths College, nurturing an experimental unit for community and youth workers. The course was intended for an older age-group with some experience of the world, and it compelled me to think about the particular problems of teaching mature adults and about the problems that arise generally in interactions between people in the caring and helping professions and the to-be-cared-for-and-helped.