Feed the Person, Starve the Problem

One Halloween when I was a kid, I came home from trick-or-treating with a plastic pumpkin full of chocolate. My mouth had been watering ever since the second doorbell, but my costume prohibited taking an early snack. As soon as I got home, the mask came off, and I had my first piece of chocolate.Continue reading “Feed the Person, Starve the Problem”

When Problems Take Over a Relationship

Even when people are firing on all cylinders, relationships can be tricky. When there’s a persistent problem, like an illness or an addiction in the mix, they can be impossible. Persistent problems can be the source of much harm. The alcoholic you can’t rely on. The gambler you can’t trust with money. The depressive whoContinue reading “When Problems Take Over a Relationship”

See, Do, Teach

If you think that going to therapy means you can go to a shrink’s office, unload all your problems, and walk away a new man, you’ll be disappointed. You might feel better for a minute, but if you go home and do the same things you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. TherapyContinue reading “See, Do, Teach”

Ride the Ego Balloon

You may be amused, instructed, affirmed, chastened, enriched, or enlightened by my latest video. The ego is a good tool if you understand its uses and limitations. The ego balloon can make you crazy, but it’s often a good crazy, a necessary madness, provided you can land the thing when it needs to come down.

A Reconciliation Case Study

Travis and Suzanne entered my office, sat down at opposite sides of the room, and immediately began to speak at once, competing for airtime. Travis was addicted to cocaine, Suzanne his long-suffering wife. The last time Travis used cocaine had been eight months ago; but at that point he had been repeatedly leading the familyContinue reading “A Reconciliation Case Study”

The ACE Study

Bringing you the best of mental health It makes no sense, but one of the most remarkable and important findings in recent psychological research hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves and still has not had much impact on the practice of psychotherapy. I’m talking about the ACE Study. In the 1990’s, the CDC and theContinue reading “The ACE Study”

Learn to Walk

Stand with your feet comfortably together. Take one foot and stick it out in the direction you want to go until you throw yourself off balance. Then, at the last instant, when you’re about to fall on your face, bring the other foot forward to stop yourself from falling. Repeat this dangerous operation as longContinue reading “Learn to Walk”