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?”

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”

The Dangers of Self-Actualization

Did Nietzsche Lose His Way? Before anybody started talking about self-actualization[i], there was Nietzsche who taught us how to become who we are. Then he went mad and never made sense again. That being the case, can we trust him, or any of the people who speak about self-actualization, to be our guides?

Can the Enneagram Be Trusted?

Or Is the Nine Pointed Guide to Personality No Better Than Astrology? I’ve been coming across more and more people talking about their Enneagram type. Luckily, I’ve heard of the Enneagram before and already know what they’re talking about. I’m a Type Five, with a Four wing. If you don’t know what that means, bearContinue reading Can the Enneagram Be Trusted?

The Cost of the Placebo Effect

And Whether Walking in the Woods Would Do You Some Good Any time is a good time for a good dose of Shinrin-yoku; but, I think early summer, after being cooped up because of a pandemic is best. Shinrin-yoku is the Japanese term for forest bathing, or forest therapy. That’s getting therapy by walking inContinue reading “The Cost of the Placebo Effect”

Driving to Death

Taking the long way through trauma Why do trauma victims re-experience their trauma in flashbacks and nightmares? We need some help from Freud to explain. In Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Freud noted that, in their dreams, flashbacks, and patterns of behavior, trauma victims compulsively repeated their horrible experiences as if they were happening in theContinue reading “Driving to Death”

Is Your Doctor Going the Way of the Family Farm?

I used to be a farmer. I should say, I used to be a farmer the way farmers used to be. I raised pigs, chickens, goats, and cows. I tried to raise ducks and geese, but they flew away. I had a quarter acre garden and grew acres of buckwheat and corn. I helped theContinue reading “Is Your Doctor Going the Way of the Family Farm?”

How Normal is Abnormal?

Just how common are mental health problems? According to researchers following more than a thousand New Zealanders for 35 years, they’re extremely common. By age 38, they say, 83% have had a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their lives; in most cases, a mild depression, anxiety, or a substance use disorder. Also,Continue reading “How Normal is Abnormal?”

Don’t Force It

Especially when trying to bring about change My father was a car mechanic. When I was a kid, he tried to teach me all about cars, but I wasn’t very interested. After a while, he might have thought he was wasting his time, but one of his lessons stuck with me. I think about itContinue reading “Don’t Force It”

The Perils of Understanding

And how your prejudices can help you understand better I once worked as a therapist with a deaf female client in my office by having her type what she wanted to say to me, as I typed to her. I didn’t know much sign language but was eager to show off what little I had.Continue reading “The Perils of Understanding”