Grief and Gratitude

The ability to grieve for the inevitable loss and disappointments that are part of life, without losing sight of its genuine goodness, is a sign of mental health.

Is There Such a Thing as Acceptable Narcissism?

When is it acceptable to want respect or admiration from other people? Is there such a thing as everyday or healthy narcissism?

The Difference Between Guilt and Shame

Shame involves feeling about ourselves and who we are. Guilt arises from our actions, real or imaginary; it depends upon empathy for other people and the hurt we may have caused them.

When Is It Appropriate to Feel Shame?

While the current anti-shame zeitgeist encourages the culturally oppressed to rebel against shame, the experience of shame is sometimes appropriate, preserving certain aspects of the human experience from becoming degraded and meaningless.

The Toilet Function of Friendship

Some people treat friendship as a "dumping" ground for their pain.

Worshipping Celebritites and Taking Pleasure In Their Demise

When we idealize celebrities we often envy them as well: first we take vicarious pleasure in their perfect lives and then enjoy watching them fall apart.

Lance Armstrong: Narcissism and What Lies Behind It

In Part One of his interview with Oprah, Lance Armstrong showed no authentic sense of guilt or remorse but continued to display the characteristic defenses against shame at the heart of narcissism.

Good and Bad Reasons for Taking an Anti-Depressant

Anti-depressants have their uses, but many people take them in order to avoid a life situation or personal truth they find unbearable.

The Art of the Apology

A genuine apology conveys full acceptance of responsibility and never includes the words "if" or "but."

Narcissism vs. Authentic Self-Esteem

Genuine self-respect grows from living up to our own standards. Narcissism is a defensive cover for an underlying sense of shame, the very opposite of authentic self-esteem.

Narcissistic People & the Lost Art of Conversation

Shouldn't good conversation involve more than waiting until it's your turn to talk about yourself?

Narcissism and Other Defenses Against Shame

Narcissism, blaming/indignant rage and contempt are the three most common defenses against shame.

The Origins of Shame

One of the great fallacies that many scientists have is that everything that is before birth is genetic and that everything that is after birth is learned. This is not the case.

The Psychological Defense as Emotional Lie

In this unusual new self-help book, psychodynamic views of defense mechanisms and the unconscious mind inform a course in self-exploration.

Lance Armstrong: The Hero as Narcissist

Lance Armstrong and his race against shame

Shame as Unrequited Love

New PT blogger Joseph Burgo submits his first blog post exploring the roots of shame in early failures of attunement -- a kind of unrequited love -- between mother and child.