• autoethography;
  • breakdown;
  • suffering;
  • transgression

A prerequisite to helping others is, arguably, some semblance of understanding of one's own self. But, how does one do self in a way that satisfies the integrity of psychotherapeutic theory, or the tenets of qualitative research? Moreover, what are the implications for the morally marginalized and uncertain in an era of epistemological and ontological certainty? These questions preface the raw data that constitutes the bulk of this paper: messy-text emails, reflections and comments from others, in relation to the breakdown experiences of two mental health academics/practitioners/teachers/supervisors. The methodology is autoethnography, thus the aim evocative. The textual presentation is in triple-column form: in the first is the accounts of the protagonists, Short and Grant; the second contains reflections from friends and family, and the final is Clarke's pan-theoretical reflections on both.