Waiting Room Therapy

I used to work in a hospital emergency department. I was the guy who handled all the psychiatric emergencies. There were the suicidal people, just talked down from ledges, the homicidal people the police brought, the domestic violence people who wouldn’t settle down, the psychotic people who were trying to fly. Often the people whoContinue reading “Waiting Room Therapy”

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 threeContinue reading “Looking for My Father in Emerson’s Essays”

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 →

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,Continue reading “Cleaning the Closet”

Do You Really Have a Choice with Your Feelings?

If you say you got pisssed off, gripped by fear, sadness overcame you, lost hope, filled with gratitude, or overwhelmed by joy; the passive voice you use about your feelings reveals a misconception of how they work. Continue reading →

Something You Can Do When There’s Nothing You Can Do: Relaxation Therapy

When you go to as many conferences led by therapists as I do, you’re subjected to lots of speakers beginning their talk by telling you to close your eyes, get comfortable, and pay attention to your breathing. Some try to lead you on visualizations that include forest glens, peaceful waves on the beach, warm sunshine,Continue reading “Something You Can Do When There’s Nothing You Can Do: Relaxation Therapy”

Igniting Change with the Principles of Motivational Enhancement Therapy

Most methods of psychotherapy are designed for the therapist to help the client. Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) seems to be one of these; but it’s actually therapy for the therapist when standard Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) just isn’t working. Continue reading →

The Mind’s Instruction Manual: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. What are you supposed to do with these emotions, thoughts, and behaviors? How do you get rid of the ones you don’t want and cultivate the ones you do? Somewhere, close by, a cognitive behavioral therapist is ready to roll up his sleeves and tell you. Continue readingContinue reading “The Mind’s Instruction Manual: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy”

Eleanor Oliphant Might Be Completely FineBut Using Therapists to Resolve Your Plot Isn’t

Ordinarily, I avoid reading books and watching movies that portray head shrinking because I’m careful to maintain a work/life balance. But I couldn’t ignore Eleanor Oliphant. Continue reading →