All About Identity

"We contain multitudes," wrote Walt Whitman, referring not to the highly contested diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder but to the fact that we see ourselves radically differently in different contexts. Everyone struggles with that existential plum, "Who am I?" For people who are overly concerned with other people's impressions, or who feel a core aspect of themselves, such as gender or sexuality, is not being expressed, this struggle is acute.

Recent posts on Identity

Counseling a Person With a Multiple Personality Disorder

Dissociation is a coping mechanism. A person literally dissociates himself from a situation that's too violent, traumatic or painful to assimilate with his conscious self.
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Why We Hate People Who Disagree

By Mark Alicke Ph.D. on August 13, 2017 in Why We Blame
Can we like people who disagree with us?

Sexual Disorientation of Male Sexual Abuse Survivors

Sexual abuse disorients you; it does not orient you. Consider straight men who have sex with men due to childhood sexual abuse.
Randy Williams

Jack the Ripper Was Not ‘He’ But ‘They’

Distinctly different approach to identifying Jack the Ripper looks at groups that advocate violence for social manipulation.

Americans Intoxicated

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on July 01, 2017 in A Swim in Denial
It’s an angry era in America. Instead of debating who’s right or wrong, let’s ask what kinds of work anger is doing for Americans now? And what's behind it?

Six Ways Developmental Trauma Shapes Adult Identity

Dissociation unplugs us from ourselves, interfering with identity formation throughout development. Recovery starts with recognition, moving toward more connected identities.

Your Biases And Beliefs Are Impacting Your Decision-Making

A line must be drawn when the beliefs of one person or a group of people harm another person or group of people.

Self-Concept Influences the Tendency To Network

By Art Markman Ph.D. on June 27, 2017 in Ulterior Motives
The phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know that matters” has become a cliché, because it is true. What affects people's tendency to build their network?

8 Ways to Ask Questions and Improve Your Relationships

Knowing how to ask the right questions is a fundamental skill to relationship-building. Based on new research, these 8 tips will help you get the answers you need.

Pride in Mental Health: Education

An interview with GLSEN (creating safe schools for all, regardless of orientation or identity) and The Hetrick-Martin Institute (a safe space for LGBT youth and families).

For New Dads - Keys To A Great Experience

What do new fathers need? A review of survey findings and pragmatic tips about how to avoid common mistakes and make the most of your first years as a father.

Cultural Identity Theft

Is it harmful to take something from someone else's culture and use it? Psychological science suggests that harm may occur.

My 20-Year Journey Toward a Unified Framework

A retrospective on my work toward a unified framework for psychology and psychotherapy.

I Didn't Want to Betray My Wife Again

By Loren A. Olson M.D. on June 07, 2017 in Finally Out
​I had broken my vows to my wife, and I left her when I realized that if I made those vows again I would only betray her again. My attraction to men was too powerful to contain.
DidiWeidmann (Own work) [Public domain or CC BY-SA 2.5

Bi+: The Bisexual Unicorn

Bi+ individuals adopt a variety of identities, including bisexual, pansexual, bi-curious, fluid, multi-sexual, and others.

NAMI's Identity Crisis

By Dinah Miller M.D. on June 05, 2017 in Committed
Is NAMI's upcoming board of director election really about involuntary psychiatric care?

Victim

"Pain is no one’s fault." - Wayne Muller... Whether or not you agree with this statement, it’s pretty likely that there has been a time or two, or more, that it didn’t seem true.

Parent's Guide to the Gender Revolution

Three guidelines for discussing gender identity with your kid.

Confronting Complex Multiracial Realities

Social psychology professor Saera Khan discusses the complexities of multiracial identity, prejudice, and discrimination in our especially tense sociopolitical climate.

Denmark Declassifies Transgender as Mental Illness

Transgender is not considered to be a mental illness in Denmark, making it the first country to remove the link between transgender identity and mental illness.

Giving Voice to the Feelings of Black Boys

Black boys and vulnerability. Why is it so complex?

You Can Make a Difference

If your child or another child in your life came out as transgender, would you know how to respond? Here are some strategies for ensuring their health and wellbeing.

The Personal Erotic Myth and the Rise of Fetishsexuality

A new sexual concept paves the way in understanding the role of the unconscious and psyche in exploring authentic sexuality.

More Than Just a Pretty Face: Unmasking Furry Fandom

Recent research debunks common misconception of the furry community as a bunch of sexual "deviants" or misfits.

Connecticut Bans Conversion Therapy for LGBT Youth

By Jack Turban MD MHS on May 12, 2017 in Political Minds
Connecticut makes it illegal to practice conversion therapy on gay or transgender youth.

Do You Need Mother's Apology? What Should Your Mom Say?

Nobody said being a mother was easy; perhaps it's time to say that being a daughter to a certain kind of mother is very, very hard.

Blasphemy!

By Robert J King Ph.D. on May 09, 2017 in Hive Mind
Religious and Secular blasphemy accusations come from a similar source. And we need to call a halt to this nonsense.

Why You Might Have Low Self-Esteem and How to Cure That

When you believe the lie from others that you are worth less than the rest, then you sometimes believe it. Don’t.

To Meaningfully Talk About Gender

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on May 08, 2017 in Pop Psych
Words need agreed-upon meanings if you want them to do anything useful.

Beyond Binary: How Bisexuality Shifts Orientation Science

Current research on bisexuality challenges our understandings of orientation as a simple, homogeneous concept.