Can Psychoanalysis Make You Smarter?

No therapy claims to make people smarter, but I wouldn’t be surprised if sometimes psychoanalysis does just that. Psychoanalytic therapies are those treatments in which the therapist’s job is to help people face what they have repressed and what they don’t want to know. They can help clear up blocks to learning.

Growing Up Without Therapy

Now and then I have met someone who seems to have grown up, without therapy, into a relatively balanced, contented person, little encumbered by internal conflicts. As a psychoanalyst and psychiatrist, I continue to wonder how to account for this. Emotional maturity is difficult to accomplish on one's own.

Transference: Empirical Study

There have been several questions asking about the empirical studies related to the construct of transference. I thought it might be useful to list a selected bibliography from the literature, including comments in italics from some of the articles.

The "Listening Cure": The Past Influences the Present

The therapist's attuned listening: A psychodynamic therapist listens to a patient's current concern, develops a strong therapeutic relationship, and jointly with the patient tries to understand the nature of the patient's symptoms and problems. This understanding may be facilitated by examining together the patient's ideas about the therapist (the transference).

Fathers and Daughters

The greater the dad’s comfort in relating to his daughter both as a girl with a girl’s body as well as a whole person, the more comfortable he can be during the onset of her sexual development in adolescence. It is not just mom’s comfort with her own sense of herself as a woman that helps a girl develop comfort with her sense as a developing woman, but also dad's comfort.

Fathers and Daughters

That fathers play a critical role in an adolescent girl’s development is a fact that we cannot underestimate. Fathers may not realize their important role, particularly in the midst of a screaming battle—but they are important protectors for their teen-aged daughters—including protectors of their daughter’s self-esteem during a vulnerable period of life.

Listening attentively to our children

The importance of careful listening

Why I Love Psychoanalysis and You Might, Too

A career as a psychoanalyst may be more rewarding than you have imagined. More engaging work is hard to find.

Listening to Stories Patients Tell: Beyond DSM-5

Psychiatry needs to devote more energy and funds to study the interplay between psychosocial forces and brain functioning, most importantly stressing the centrality to the diagnostic process of listening to a patient describe the story of his or her life. To provide the best treatment for people suffering with mental problems, the twain must meet.

DSM Fantasies

The DSM is built on the fantasy that we can ignore fantasy and mind in psychiatric diagnosis. A further remarkable fantasy of the DSM is that doing so leads to more scientific, rather than less scientific, diagnosis. This article explores some of the key fantasies upholding the DSM.

"I Had a Normal Childhood."

It is not unusual for a patient to tell me that he or she had a normal childhood. This always alarms me. Childhood has so many conflicts and worries, so many triumphs and disappointments - how can one reduce it to a notion of normality? What does invoking this concept conceal? Maybe the idea of a normal childhood is a wishful, childlike fantasy.

Penis Size: A Consideration of Fantasy and Reality

Many men are worried about penis size and concerned they may be "too small." This topic is often joked about, but seldom discussed seriously. Psychoanalytic therapies employing dynamic understanding of emotional conflicts and child development can help many men to become more mature and less worried that they are inadequate.

The Candidates and the Wish to Kill

All people have wishes to kill. How these wishes are handled has a profound influence on personal and national politics. Democrats tend to be more uncomfortable with their aggression and to inhibit its expression. Republicans tend to be more comfortable with their aggression and to express it more freely.

Moms in the Workplace

To feel more in charge of their own feelings and create a better balance between work and home, moms who work outside the home need to accept their own ambivalent feelings and try to ensure that their spouses or partners participate in homemaking and child-rearing activities.

Behavioral Health Reports Are Depressing Me

Behavioral health reports are depressing me. This feeling exists only in my mind and doesn't alter my behavior.

Helping Parents Help Kids Face Trauma

All people respond to trauma and stress in their own individual ways. Practitioners who have learned the art of listening are most helpful to people in time of stress and crisis.

Focus on Brain Limits Therapeutic Science

Can selective attention to the brain lead to an unscientific avoidance of the mind?

Autonomy and Intimacy: Compatible or Incompatible States of Being?

All of us have a mixture of various desires: to be autonomous, to be connected, to achieve pleasure, and to hurt those who interfere with the achievement of our various goals.

The King's Psychotherapy

In The King’s Speech, Prince Albert gets the royal treatment – by being treated the same as everyone else. Albert’s good fortune, his path toward emotional liberation, is that his speech therapy incorporates so many features of psychoanalytic therapy.

It's Lonely At The Top

Business leaders are often lonely and find it difficult to seek help. But economists and businessmen are beginning to recognize how much human irrationality influences business and consumer decisions.

Listening to Our Children’s Voices – Harder Than It Sounds

On May 1-6, 2011, we will observe National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week. And, on May 6, 2011, we will celebrate the birth of Sigmund Freud, the originator of the Talking Cure, or, as we prefer to say, "The Listening Cure." To honor these occasions, we propose paying extra attention to listening to our children, which is more complicated than it sounds.

Our Children, Our Future

The current temporary government funding bill passed by Congress will soon expire, and the battle will resume with the House pursuing a budget that will make devastating cuts to programs for children.