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

Why Resentment Lasts—and How to Defeat It

Resentment is a formidable foe. Are you willing to defeat it by trying these 5 approaches?

Finding Yourself in the New Tribalism

By Carol S. Pearson Ph.D. on March 23, 2017 in The Hero Within
Neotribalism is a sociological term that describes the way many countries are splintering apart in response to a global society in which it is difficult to find our individual iden

Strategies for Supporting a Transgender Child

In advance of International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, this blog focuses on offering some strategies to parents with trans children.

9 Ways to Respond To Social Identity Threats

Since the presidential election, several sources have indicated that hate crimes and hate speech have increased.

How I Learned to Stop Whining and Why It Was a Great Lesson

It took me a long time to realize “vulnerable,” "insecure" and “adorable” were not the same thing. Whining is not attractive. I had to learn that and it was a good lesson.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes….

By Dawn R. Norris, Ph.D. on March 11, 2017 in The Next Step
The “four V’s” of identity change

Tweaking the Past to Prepare for the Future

A recent study suggests that imagining what might have been in the past can help you prepare for what might be in the future.

Creating a More Positive Identity

What keeps us from truly being ourselves? When we side with our inner critic, we accept a prescription for our identity that was written by our past but limits us in the present.

Can We Overcome Our Tribalistic Nature?

Why can't Americans just get along? A few psychological principles explain a lot.

Dream Interpretation

By Patrick McNamara Ph.D. on March 03, 2017 in Dream Catcher
This simple four-step decoding scheme can unlock the basic meaning elements in any dream.

Your Child Just Told You He's Gay. Now What?

How you can respond, without offense but with unconditional love.

For Those Who Want to Ring in the Fourth Millennium

How much would your personality change if you lived for a thousand years? And how much would it matter?

Split Decisions in the Courtroom

The movie Split has brought Dissociative Identity Disorder back into the spotlight. Here's how this controversial diagnosis plays out in the courtroom.

A Profound Need for Our Traditions

By Saul Levine M.D. on February 28, 2017 in Our Emotional Footprint
Our traditions enhance and bolster our lives, enable us to commune with family and friends, bring stability and meaning to our lives, in times of serenity and in times of turmoil.

Are We All Haters?

"All my friends in New York define themselves by what they hate,” says Lena Dunham’s character, Hannah Horvath, on Girls.

Has Your Therapist Been Replaced by a Robot?

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on February 28, 2017 in Feeling Our Way
A therapist who can’t pass the Turing Test (a computer’s ability to pass for human in conversation) should not be allowed to graduate.

Knowing Oneself Is Easier Said Than Done

By Graham Collier on February 21, 2017 in The Consciousness Question
There is no guarantee you will ever completely know just who and why you are.

Geert Hofstede: A Conversation About Culture

By Marianna Pogosyan Ph.D. on February 21, 2017 in Between Cultures
Decades after his pioneering research, Hofstede shares his insights on culture’s role in our lives.

No Mom, You Can't Read Your Daughter's Diary (or Texts)

By Nancy Darling Ph.D. on February 16, 2017 in Thinking About Kids
Your gut tells you that it's wrong to snoop in someone's diary or texts. But why? Twenty years of research backs up your gut. But also tells us when it might be okay.

A Life-Pivoting Change of Identity

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 14, 2017 in Ambigamy
Hunger for pride can become dangerously addictive. Abandoning pride and being proud no matter what, don't solve it. Instead, change what you're proud of.

7 Promises of Intimacy

Are you ready to flex your world to accommodate the needs of another? That's what is necessary for healthy intimate relationships.

The Privilege of Not Understanding Privilege

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on February 13, 2017 in Feeling Our Way
I don’t want rich people to apologize for being born with money; I just want them to act like they know they didn’t earn it.

Five Things You Should Know About Gender Trends on Campus

By Marcia Morris M.D. on February 12, 2017 in College Wellness
College aged adults are redefining what it means to be a man or a woman.

How to Befriend Yourself

By Robert Firestone Ph.D. on February 10, 2017 in The Human Experience
People can utilize their personal power and actively contribute to their own growth and development, in essence becoming their own ally.

Welcoming Refugees and Immigrants Is Good for the U.S.

When the U.S. welcomes refugees regardless of religion, race, or ethnicity, we reap important social and economic rewards.

What Your ZIP Code Says About You

By David Ludden Ph.D. on February 09, 2017 in Talking Apes
Where you lives tells a lot about what kind of person you are.

The Burden of Memory (part 2)

If most of our memories are false, how can we decide who we are?

Is American Individualism Bad for the Environment?

The ecological crisis can be beat if Americans join the fight for environmental justice. But in the process we would have to transform the culture of American individualism.

Race: The Reality of the Imagined

Ideas of race, inflamed by ideology, are remnants of a bygone age. It is time to defuse them and to communicate about the real issues that confront us all.

Boys Will Be Boys—Even If Raised Believed to Be Girls

Boys born seeming to be girls and socialised as such revert to male after puberty in ~90% of cases, providing an acid test of nature versus nurture.