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?”

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”

Combat Veterans and Fireworks

Tip toeing around PTSD The neighborhood where I live has its own Facebook page where people post announcements and searches for lost cats. Last year, about this time, a post appeared from a neighbor who said he was an Iraq War veteran. Fireworks triggered his PTSD, he said, so could we please refrain from shootingContinue reading “Combat Veterans and Fireworks”

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?”

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”

Don’t Be Mindless About Mindfulness

It doesn’t have to involve meditation If you have any connection to psychotherapy or psychotherapists and have been paying attention to trends, you’ve noticed that everyone in shrinkland is talking about something called mindfulness. I don’t know if mindfulness has infiltrated everywhere else as much as it has the land of shrinkishness; but if itContinue reading “Don’t Be Mindless About Mindfulness”

How Your Body Can Help You Find Peace

If you’ve been feeling depressed, anxious, grieving, guilty, or preoccupied with cravings, then you probably tried to reason yourself out of it. You’ve wanted to get your head screwed on right and the clouds cleared from your mind. You believed if you talked to somebody, they could tell you things that might help you feelContinue reading “How Your Body Can Help You Find Peace”

Reflections on “In Treatment”: Season 1, Episode 1

Can You Fall in Love with Your Therapist? And what should happen if you do? I heard the critically acclaimed series, In Treatment is coming back this year for a new season, so I thought I’d catch up and see what the excitement is about. It’s an unusual show that’s set entirely in a therapist’sContinue reading “Reflections on “In Treatment”: Season 1, Episode 1”