Gender Pathology

If we constructed a society in which life’s roles were as bifurcated by ear lobes as they are in our culture by genitals, then the first thing parents and grandparents would want to know at birth would be attached or unattached, not boy or girl.

The Communicative Advantages of Interrupting

The Sermon on the Mount takes 8 minutes to read aloud, so be wary of any speech act that goes on for longer than that.

10 Signs of True Love

Two selfish creatures committing to a life partnership need an ironic frame.

How to Tell If You’re Pro-Diversity or Just Want More Power

Many marginalized voices don’t really want inclusion; they want dominance.

Life is a Like a Metaphor

When you stand alone like scraps of paper instead of “high-piled books” on Keats’s “shore of the wide world,” and love and fame “to nothingness do sink,” it might help to recognize that your current construction of the situation is a metaphor, and that you are not literally littoral litter.

How Clinical Psychology Programs Get Wussified

Aren’t therapists supposed to be able to stomach strong emotion, confront conflict, keep calm, and carry on?

Treating William Shakespeare

Asking which of the things I did that worked and which didn’t is exactly the same as asking which things the patient does in response I should feel rewarded by.

Personality Disorders Explained 3: Treatment

Where most therapies capitalize on the alliance with the one part of the patient that agrees with the psychological formulation, therapists treating personality disorders are on their own.

Personality Disorders Explained 2: Origins

Every cognitive map of the social world also defines a role for the person to play; a personality disorder implies a limited number of acceptable roles.

Personality Disorders Explained: What They Are

A person with a personality disorder can be asymptomatic, but we should still use the label if dysfunction or distress would follow from a reasonably expectable change in the environment.

What Assessment Can Do and What It Can’t

When I hear that so-and-so is not the kind of person to do such-and-such, I wince.

Is Your Dream Too Expensive?

Many of our aspirations are compensatory, making up for something that life is not providing. If our dream comes true, it’s often at the cost of what life was providing.

Living on Thin Ice

You can enjoy your work if it produces reinforcement, but you can’t be replenished by it if you’re situation-conscious on the job.

Parenting Skills Depend on the Child

The first concern in any system of parenting skills should be a list of the child’s needs.

On Being the Main Character of Your Own Life

Many elderly people have lost their improvisational abilities, and reciting lines is the only kind of participation they can still muster.

Why I Don’t Care How the Brain Works

The human condition is not a medical condition.

Who Owns Your Body?

Much child development can be usefully construed as a transfer of ownership rights from others to the individual.

Torture, Psychology, and Nuremberg: Might Makes Right

The Nuremberg trials stand for the proposition that “he who holds the gun makes the rules.”

The Arc of Life in Supervision

Newton said he benefited from standing on the shoulders of giants; perhaps I have had the benefit of sitting on a few laps.

Self-Care Is for Girls

While women wrestle with the necessity and the shame of pursuing self-care, male professionals are on the golf course, reading science fiction, or watching SportsCenter.

We Shouldn’t Treat Mental Illness Like Physical Illness

“Of course you didn’t do the dishes, you poor dear; you have depression.”

Psychoanalytic Theory in One Sentence

What strategies do you use to maintain the illusion that you are only some of the things you are?

My Alcoholic Evening

Drinking is like any other behavior; its meaning can be understood only in relation to its function.

Trauma is Like a Horror Movie

If you’re in a horror movie and you act accordingly, your life is likely to remain a horror movie.

Should We Keep Our Disabled Child?

All parents can use a reminder in the middle of the night, while cleaning up bodily fluids and listening to howls, that they made the bed they are lying in.

8 Sex Tips for the Long Haul

Regular sex with your life partner is a picnic and a brass band. You don’t really need the fireworks, too.

6 Common Problems Couples Have With Sex

Identifying and fixing difficulties in your sex life can not only make sex better, it can fix other problems as well, because it is hard to feel distant from or angry at someone who brings you so much pleasure.

The Gift of Anger

If you are jumpy or skittish about anger, or if you feel angry about a host of situations that other people take in stride, its utility will be greatly diminished. But if you embrace anger as a natural aspect of the human condition, it can be a reliable guide to useful behavior.

Dating as Marketing

You know how when something good happens to someone you’re close to it makes you mainly happy for them but also makes you resent it and feel threatened by it? If you’re just happy for them, that’s love.

Is So-Called Victim Blaming Always Bad?

Scrupulously avoiding anything that looks like “blaming the victim” can hinder treatment and prevention.

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