A Therapeutic Peak into Peaky Blinders


I couldn’t simply miss a chance to watch a repeat of Peaky Blinders Season 1 and Season 2 on BBC iPlayer. I  became a fan of Steven Knight’s writing after watching Locke, which grabbed me not only because of the story, but also because of the way the characters were developed so brilliantly. I love this style of drama. Nothing too polished as most USA TV series. Peaky Blinders is a story that revolves around a gangster family from Birmingham. Though Tom Shelby and his family’s storyline are fictitious, you come across other supporting characters that lived and operated around the period.


Cillian Murphy Tom Shelby poster peaky blinders

Steven Knight really knows how to develop strong characters, hardly ever good or bad, like real human are. We therapists learn what to look for in the speech of a person, in their action. It gives us clear idea about how people operate, what works for them, what are the roots to their problems. Not many writers can put such sophistication into their writing so as to differentiate their characters to an extent where they become unique characters. Writers often depict different versions of themselves, mostly in speech. But Steven Knight writes real people, be it consciously or unconsciously. He makes his writing look really easy. He surely is a master of his trade.

But let’s not get off the track. I do not want to only sing praises for Steven here. As a therapist I always look for stories and ‘clever thoughts’ that I can pass onto my clients to inspire them and give them something to think about. I can find it in movies, series or literature. In the first season, just before the battle, Tommy Shelby holds this speech.

“The past is not my concern. The future is no longer my concern either. One minute. The soldier’s minute. In a battle, that’s all you get. One minute of everything at once. And anything before is nothing. Everything after nothing. Nothing in comparison to that one minute.”

It had a melancholic undertone, but actually I found myself saying to myself, “I wish more people thought this way.” Because, ‘NOW’ is all we have. Most of us worry about future. Many of my clients keep on trying to figure out ‘what happens if’. They built their negative future scenarios and stress over them. Of course, people also built positive futures, but they are hardly the ones to land into therapy sessions. I encourage my clients to think about their future positively and act in a way to achieve their end goals. It is a way we humans work and how we make things happen, but in the end of the day NOW is the only time that is actually meaningful. It is the only reality. We do not know what tomorrow holds. So no matter how predictable things seem, you can never be sure of what is to come. We should think about future and plan, as Tom Shelby did when it came to expansion of his power, but we should never forgive to live in the present. To spend time with people we care about and give time to ourselves to be happy in the present, not to be miserable and hope that if we work long hours and compromise on our health we will be happy sometime in the future. Because future is just an illusion, as past is. Past can seem more real because it ‘happened’, but as we remember it is hardly ever how it really happened. Therefore I would encourage you for next five minutes, after you finish reading this blog, live the way Tom Shelby suggested. If you are alone, look around, see things, hear sounds, notice how your body feels, how does ‘NOW’ feel. If you have people around engage with them. Live in the moment. There is no future, no later, just now; so LIVE. Keep track for how long you can do it without any thoughts about future infiltrating your mind. You might find that it is not as easy as it sounds!

Now with second season over and third season airing just next autumn, all I can do is to look for inspiration elsewhere. So stay tuned to the blog for further updates on how you can get inspiration from TV series, films and music.