Slipstream Change

Change many things at once, rather than one thing at a time Anyone attempting to break a habit can learn a lot from marketers. They’re the experts at getting you to change. They love it when you are at a transitional period of your life. Advertisers love to target pregnant women. They have their ways ofContinue reading “Slipstream Change”

How to Understand Yourself

A very smart man once came to me and said he wanted to understand himself. “Have you read Freud?” I asked. “No.” “Jung?” “No.” “Lacan? Winnicott? Bion? Kline?” “Never heard of any of them.” “Did you ever take psychology?” “I took a course or two. I graduated from Stanford summa cum laude, with a doubleContinue reading “How to Understand Yourself”

Alexithymia and the Hermeneutic Laborer

When Your Partner Can’t Talk About His Feelings “She loves me, she loves me not, she loves me, she loves me not, she loves me, she loves me not. She loves me!” Saying this while pulling petals off a flower is a silly way to determine whether she loves you, but it’s easier than engagingContinue reading “Alexithymia and the Hermeneutic Laborer”

Emotional Labor

Who’s Really the Boss? It sounds like a capitalist’s dream come true, monetizing your feelings. Except it’s already come true. There are many jobs that include emotional labor. Sociologist, Arlie Hochschild was perhaps the first to write, back in 1983, about emotional labor in her book The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling. In herContinue reading “Emotional Labor”

How Are You Today?

A Review of Embracing the Void: Rethinking the Origin of the Sacred by Richard Boothby It’s the most often asked question, and the most seldom answered. It’s banal, yet profound. We engage in it without thinking. Perhaps it’s just as well. If we did think about it, it might break our brains. Let’s try itContinue reading “How Are You Today?”

Staying Clean is Not Enough. We Must Also Develop a Personally Meaningful Life

Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse, Part 7 When you are thoroughly caught up in addiction, your priorities are clear; the drug comes first. Everything is done or not done in service of the drug. It’s the first thing you think about in the morning, the last thing you think about atContinue reading “Staying Clean is Not Enough. We Must Also Develop a Personally Meaningful Life”

It’s Three in the Morning, Do You Know Where Your Schemas Are?

You’ll Need Them If CBT Doesn’t Work One of the nice things about being a reflective eclectic is I have loads of methods I can use to help people who see me for psychotherapy. Sometimes it’s simple. If you come in and say you’re anxious, I can teach you a method of breathing that mayContinue reading “It’s Three in the Morning, Do You Know Where Your Schemas Are?”

Just What is a Good Grief, Charlie Brown?

Here was the world famous authority on grief; and there I was, your humble writer and shrinker of heads, sitting with him in a conference. He had just spoken about grief, the things that will cause it, what it does to people, and how to help them heal. He had many wise things to say,Continue reading “Just What is a Good Grief, Charlie Brown?”

What is the Evidence that You Are Plural?

A Review of “Many Minds, One Self” By Schwartz and Falconer I have an image of being a practical, no-nonsense kind of therapist to uphold. A certain sort of underserved clientele flock to me because they think the mental health world is glutted with flakiness. Should I really be telling them that they are inhabitedContinue reading “What is the Evidence that You Are Plural?”

The Schopenhauer Cure

Irvin Yalom’s Relief from Despair If your anxiety and depression has made you turn on everyone and everything, if the closest you get to other people is in the commission of your sexual addiction, if you’re so spiteful, grouchy, and malevolent that even your own mother can’t stand the sight of you, if you’re anyContinue reading “The Schopenhauer Cure”