It matters that people have a way to use the latest findings in psychology beyond buying a pill for depression. It matters that people have a way of looking at their lives that lets them ask the big questions and determine how they want to live – and that this is supported by therapists and mental health professionals.

Categories

Posts tagged with the category Psychotherapy

Photo by Kazemaru Zen.
What does the clinical literature say about how to treat someone whose avatar was sexually abused online? To my knowledge, it doesn't really say anything—but 20 years of reportage from online cultures suggest not only that this experience happens, but that some people experience it as quite traumatizing. Such a violation is the tip of a...
Over the last several months, my family has experienced a number of major crises from a flooded apartment to a granddaughter running away to a lengthy personal illness to uncertainty of employment to decisions concerning the health and well-being of aging parents to eye surgery to ongoing long-term unemployment. It has been a period of chaos and...
Photo by Karen Mardahl.
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing. -- Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Invitation, 1999 I finally realized why I hate small talk. I’m a therapist. I like getting down and dirty, delving into the nitty gritty of what makes us human,...
We grow up believing that love is all that matters. Countless songs and movies repeating the mantra that “Love is all you need” in all its variations. From the angst of being the first to say, “I love you” in a relationship, to the unbearable pain of unrequited love, or the overwhelming maternal love for our children, we...
Auguste Renoir's "Lovers."
“Sex in humanistic psychology and psychotherapy: A community roundtable and discussion” evoked a sense of mystery within myself as I explored the thought of sexual attraction towards clients within the scope of humanistic psychology. Each member of the panel, chaired by Shawn Rubin, and consisting of Louis Hoffman, Heatherlynn Hoffman...
Two days ago, I was telling my mother that I was feeling really anxious. I have always been an anxious person, since day one. I’m not even sure that one can born like that but I can tell you I certainly was. I have had a lot of “character” from the early days on. Anyway, I have been in therapy for some years now, so my mother,...
There is a reason that many of the most twisted and destructive people on this planet are not seen as “mental patients.” They tend to be ordinary or even celebrated individuals—and their brains are as “normal” as the rest of us. Does this not tell us something glaring about the inadequacy of our current diagnostic...
Photo by United Press International.
Whether you remember or anticipate, you do it now. The past is no more. The future is not yet. --Fritz Perls Watching the remaining living Beatles reunite a few weeks ago to celebrate and remember the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964—the moment that marked the beginning of the...
Painting by By Maria Raquel Cochez.
Long ago in my practice, I worked with a woman who was struggling with bulimia. She would binge and purge daily, a struggle that she didn’t want, but couldn’t see how she could stop. She was ashamed and demoralized. One day, I put some clay in front of her and asked her to show me what her bulimia looked like. She began to model the...
I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. My most romantic dream about writing is being like Ernest Hemingway living in the Florida Keys, sitting at a typewriter (okay, a computer), writing in the morning, and spending my afternoon and evenings at the pub down the street sharing drinks with locals and tourists. But in the process...
Photo by Attila Malarik.
It was some years ago, while in my late 20s, that I began therapy and an apprenticeship of sorts with an admired existential psychotherapist. I was intrigued to work with him because of his training and life-long friendship with the controversial and pioneering Scottish psychiatrist, R. D. Laing. As a student of consciousness and existential...
H. L. Mencken.
Florence King once defined “misanthropes” as “people who can’t suffer fools, and like to see fools suffer.” It’s hard for me to think of a healthier motto, and I’d like to suggest by way of this essay that King’s 1993 history of misanthropy, “With Charity Toward None,” should be on...