How I Made Peace With My Inner Critic

And saw him for who he really is

As a writer and a shrink, I’m intimately familiar with the inner critic, both my own and others’. You might expect us to be natural enemies. Most of my clients come to me complaining about their inner critics and asking me to silence them. If only they didn’t have this voice in their head constantly demeaning them, they would be happier than they are.

I would caution you from taking up arms too quickly against your inner critic, much less enlisting a therapist in the battle. You already have one critic; you would not be better off with a second. One’s already criticizing you for everything you do, the second would end up criticizing the first for being too critical. They will not get along. Continue reading →

Take Out the Garbage

Letting go of grudges, repeatedly

I once facilitated a group for people recovering from severe mental illnesses. We met once a week and they talked about how things were going for them. They tried to support each other. One day a member of the group came in and said his landlord was going to evict him if he failed to clean his apartment. Landlords can do that if the apartment is really bad. We knew that just talking about it and offering moral support was not going to help him much; so, the next week, we all went to his place to help him clean. In the end, he got to keep his apartment and I got a story about letting go. Continue reading →

Wrangling the Parts of Your Mind

How Internal Family Systems Therapy Can Help

You are divided. You must have noticed this when you’re trying to decide whether to have that chocolate cake, or stick to your diet; when you rise, groaning from your bed, despite how comfortable that pillow looks; when you want to tell your boss to shove it, but instead say, Yes Sir. Continue reading →

My New Novel: Who Killed the Lisping Barista of the Epiphany Café?

My new novel, Who Killed the Lisping Barista of the Epiphany Café?, is available now in Kindle. It’s a murder mystery investigating the mysteries of life.

I have a limited number of free copies I can send to readers who would write a review before it comes out in paperback. Please give me your email address if you are interested.

Looking for My Father in Emerson’s Essays

I recently opened for the first time, a volume of essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson from the collection of old books in my library that I have never read. I was surprised to find that my father, whom I must’ve gotten the book from, noted on the title page that he had read it three times in his adolescence. I started to study the book, not to discover what Emerson’s thoughts were, but to learn more about my father. Continue reading →

Check your Dashboard

It can tell you how you’re feeling

I’d like to interrupt whatever else you might be doing to remind you to check your dashboard; you’ll find there almost all the information you need to keep things running smoothly.

No, I don’t mean the dashboard in your car, although you should be checking that regularly, as well. I mean your body’s dashboard. You can see it when you look within. Continue reading →

Multiple Views of Dissociative Identity Disorder

There aren’t many mental illnesses that therapists are accused of creating, but dissociative identity disorder (DID), or multiple personality disorder, as it officially used to be known, is one of them. Continue reading →

Ignite Confidence

And cook the negativity

You learn a lot quicker from negative experiences than you do from positive ones. The stick is more damaging than the carrot is enticing. There’s a good reason for that. If you get whacked hard enough by the stick, it won’t matter how many carrots you have. But the result is that you will continuously look for bad news, zero in on the negativity, and lose sight of the big picture. You take for granted all the blessings you have, are ignorant of your resources, and blind to grace. Continue reading →

Cleaning the Closet

We are certain to encounter the past.

We are confronted with it if we go back to the old homestead, step in through our childhood door, and walk into our early days. We face it if we unpack memories along with the ornaments for the Christmas tree. Either we choose to spend time the past, or it is guaranteed to call on us. Continue reading →