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Turn in the direction of the skid.
Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D.
Faculty members can’t promote contextual or scientific thinking if faculty colleagues or the larger culture won’t stand up for instruction.
Shouldn’t your therapist keep getting better at therapy?
At the heart of the fantasy of meeting Mr. or Ms. Right is the fantasy that you yourself are just right for someone.
The most insidious and pervasive stigmas are those that disqualify us in the eyes of others from playing the role of human being.
Stark emotions in primary colors produce comic-book narratives about what is going on.
If an athlete seeks coaching or strength training, and there’s no internal problem such as injury, go ahead with coaching or strength training, but don’t call it physical therapy.
When therapists insist on being the good guy, it blinds them to their mistakes.
The blooming idiots who will tell me I am not entitled to have an opinion about Ulysses are like those that tell Bloom he’s not Irish.
The supposedly-sympathetic, condoling framing of suffering as a tragedy pushes people to embrace hopelessness, victimhood, and defeatism.
Tantalizing others makes them savage.
Enter patterns to change them; don’t just talk them to death.
A good therapist sews your shadow back on.
Jews have become white people to the “woke,” while still suffering hate crimes at higher rates than gays, Blacks, and Muslims.
A different Prince once said, “Holding someone is truly believing there's joy in repetition."
As a global pandemic impinges on holiday traditions, we can turn to history for inspiration.
The Internet allows you to fit in without having to adapt, by finding a social space where you already fit in.
The cure for wretchedness isn’t luxury; it’s ordinary human connection, apart from wealth or poverty.
In therapy, patients and therapists often confuse indulgence with being treated as a “You” and frustration with being treated as an “It.”
Take steps to promote the type of marriage you want to be in rather than inadvertently implementing the sort of marriage you don’t want to be in.
Be an activist. Be a comrade. Be an ally. Be a guide. But when you’re doing therapy, be a therapist.
Tartuffe—and social media—judge everything they see, not to help but for profit.
We are not elevated by canceling the people we are expected to cancel. We are elevated by empathizing with them.
It’s human nature to find someone to blame for life’s disappointments, and your poor spouse is a likely candidate.
The real self is needy, collaborative, and all-too-human.
We are more likely to manage our motivations successfully if we acknowledge and accept them.
The real self is not racist. Acorns are concerned with becoming oak trees, not with whether white oaks are superior to red oaks.
Psychopathology is like trying to get around in your city using a map that is decades old and drawn by a child.
Psychopathology uses imagination to replace rather than to develop ourselves.
When psychologists conceptualize human suffering as angst, despair, and ennui rather than as disease, then our "medicine" is very strong.
Your partner cannot be both a perfect shield against infection and, at the same time, a relaxed roommate. You can’t marry Monica AND Phoebe, or Chandler AND Joey.
Michael Karson, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at the University of Denver.
Musings (amusing musings, I hope) on psychotherapy, personality, and life from a practitioner steeped in experience, resistant to rules, and suspicious of categories.