A mother of two who is active in the International Bipolar Foundation shared a story the other day. When her youngest daughter was diagnosed with diabetes, friends called, sent cards and flowers, brought food, and posted encouraging Facebook messages.
A lot of therapy focuses on "what's wrong with you?" but eventually graduates to what's up with us?," an embrace of the human condition in all its details. One way to play with "what's up with us?" is to take notes like a social scientist. Observe, reflect, jot share.
In February, at the annual International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) symposium, I was honored to hear Ryan Sallans, an international speaker, transgender man and author of the book Second Son, speak.
Treatment of psychotic patients is very difficult and many practitioners believe that it is impossible to employ psychotherapy ef with such patients. Frieda Fromm-Reichmann was a courageous and creative therapist who extended and improved treatment in dramatic and sustaining ways. Her work has been a model for all mental health practitioners treating severely ill patients.
Turning people—turning all things—into projects is a very effective defense against allowing them to have a life of their own. Irrelationship provides a place for our attention to be focused instead of on our fear of real relationship, real intimacy. The conclusion to this brief case study provides an exemplar for how we can recover from the irrleational defense—together.
Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a powerful method of overcoming trauma via the mind-body connection, and often without medication. This piece by Saint-Laurent and Bird is a great introduction for those considering the treatment as well as for therapists interested in SE training.
"Everyone is different." This is the fundamental tenant of Precision Medicine: to utilize this difference to improve outcome. Real life is more complicated, and there is a lot that is not yet worked out before this approach will yield benefits.
Few topics induce stronger emotion than parenting and children’s illness, and where emotions are heightened miscommunication can easily occur. Here I try to clarify my mother’s original argument, respond to some readers’ comments which blur the crucial distinction between personal and scientific ‘findings’, and reflect on the role of choice in recovery from anorexia.
On March 9, on a Monday afternoon in DeKalb County, Georgia, Anthony Hill, a black Air Force veteran in postdeployment from Afghanistan, removed all his clothes, slid down from the balcony of his second-floor apartment, and began walking.
Many of my patients often ask me, “What’s the difference between being addicted to prescription pain medications versus being dependent?” To help shed light on this important topic, I’d like to examine each classification.
After the initial evaluation and assessment, the therapist identified three classic family dysfunctions that exist in the relationship between Barack and Bibi: enmeshment, triangulation, and emotional cut-offs.
My friend recently forwarded me the April 2015 Atlantic Magazine article “The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous” by Gabrielle Glaser. If I did not have personal and professional experience with alcoholism and in treating alcoholics, then I imagine I would not have felt such a need to respond to this article.
A small, dirt-road fishing village on the Pacific coast of Mexico organizes to restore their threatened ocean environment and provides hope for all of us. They remind us of the powerful hunger to take care of the natural world and "our animal relatives."
Young people who grew up with digital technologies and cannot conceive of a life without the Internet, digital games, and social media are sometimes called “digital natives” whereas older generations who acquired these technologies as adults are “digital immigrants.” Digital natives have many advantages but “addiction” to screens has its critics.
When working to improve public health, there are often many things that we simply can't change. Social isolation has proven to be a robust and significant risk factor of poor health and early mortality. And there is something we can do about it.
When we peruse the landscape of our world half the women we see have experienced a life-altering traumatic event, perhaps a natural disaster like a tornado, or a human-made disaster such as a car accident. And 1 in 3 women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime. But this number is probably much higher because these are only reported cases.
Being human means being vulnerable. But oftentimes we try to control love and intimacy, not realizing that true intimacy can only arise as we develop the awareness to notice and the courage to embrace our vulnerabilities. Our task is not to transcend our humanity or take flight into a spiritual self-image, but rather to engage with vulnerability in a skillful, gentle way.
Shootings, deaths and tragedies involving mental illness fill our news every day. Politicians are talking about mental health more than ever before. But, most political efforts to reform these issues ignore the deep underlying issues of funding, regulatory complexity and access which inhibit real reform.