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”

Helping Brains Talk to One Another

Here’s something that’ll surprise you. Other people know you better than you know yourself. It surprised you, didn’t it? That just goes to show that people can predict how you’ll feel. Upon that counterintuitive claim rests David Schnarch’s new book, Brain Talk: How Mind Mapping Brain Science Can Change Your Life & Everyone in It.Continue reading “Helping Brains Talk to One Another”

What if We’re Wrong?

What if a person really could forget the horrors of the past? Yes, I know; we therapists tell you it’s impossible to do without paying a price. We say that you have a lumber room of the mind, a hidden closet in which you stuff all the traumas and memories you wish you had noContinue reading “What if We’re Wrong?”

Reading for the Plot

 Bringing you the best of mental health every week. What do the flashbacks and nightmares of trauma victims have to do with the way we experience pleasure? Peter Brooks makes these unexpected connections in his essay, Freud’s Master Plot, within his book, Reading for the Plot. A professor of literature at Yale, Brooks wanted toContinue reading “Reading for the Plot”

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”

The Road to Reconciliation: How to Re-Traumatize Yourself

First, a bad thing happens. Rape, murder, combat, abuse. You don’t have a lot of control over it. That’s the point. Something happens way, way out of your control. You barely make it. Now you’re left with the memories. That’s the trauma. Second, the memories come up. You don’t have a lot of control overContinue reading “The Road to Reconciliation: How to Re-Traumatize Yourself”

How to Re-Traumatize Yourself

First, a bad thing happens. Rape, murder, combat, abuse. You don’t have a lot of control over it. That’s the point. Something happens way, way out of your control. You barely make it. Now you’re left with the memories. That’s the trauma. Second, the memories come up. You don’t have a lot of control overContinue reading “How to Re-Traumatize Yourself”

When Madness Takes Cover

So, you’ve stopped drinking, or drugging, or gambling, or sleeping around. Your depression seems to have lifted. You haven’t been violent. Your anxiety no longer makes all the decisions. You’re up in the morning and dressed when you need to be. The madness seems to have gone away. Has it, really? Madness takes cover sometimesContinue reading “When Madness Takes Cover”