Archive for March, 2008

Hypnotherapist Fires Her Hpnotherapist

March 31, 2008

Just an update….a colleague told me she’d had great success with hypnotherapy and medical conditions, including lupus. I waited 2 months for her to get back from a vacation. She’s a BIG cahuna in the hypnosis field. And she proceeds to give me a different kind of therapy altogether. Completely different intervention. When I, a colleague, questioned her on this, she interpreted it as resistance! Now I can understand why the general public often has such negativity toward therapists. Bottom line, if you agree to a certain kind of therapy with your therapist, you’re supposed to get it, people!  Thus my exit from that path and new forage into the world of accupressure….

Which Woman Do You Most Admire for Women’s History Month?

March 31, 2008

I love this question and think about it every year….this year the theme is women artists..But try as I might I always come up with Rosa Parks. Not an unusual choice, perhaps. But can you imagine the courage it took for her to sit in the front of the bus???

As for an artist (however you may define artist) I nominate Georgia O’Keefe, because she also was very brave in the images she painted:

Mystery Woman 1895

March 30, 2008


Artist: Peder Serverin Kroyer

Today I thought I’d send you all a lovely spring picture from my images collection….Enjoy!

Parents Pick Prayer Over Medicine & Daughter Dies

March 29, 2008

Ok, this story outrages many people including me. Did you read about it? It happened out in Wisconsin. The parents of an 11 year old girl let her die, believing in the power of prayer to heal her. She died of complications from diabetes. Now, I also believe in the power of prayer. Therefore I believe in God. But I also believe that God has helped humankind to discover medicine and surgical procedures to help do His work.  These parents are not a part of a fanatic religioius sect, in fact they are not affiliated with any particular religion, so you can’t blame cultural conditioning on their choice.  What can you  blame? I don’t know, but as a parent one thing I know for sure: despite their assertions even now that they believe they did the right thing, they will be blaming themselves until the day they die.  

My question to you: should they be punished by our legal system?

Here is the full story:

Psychscribe Quote #26

March 28, 2008

“No one ever said life would be a bowl of cherries.” Frank Spinale (my father)

Accupressure Anyone?

March 28, 2008

I was referred to a woman who does apparently wonderful accupressure work for chronic pain. I would love to hear your experiences. She also does Reiki…that part I am skeptical about but I’ve heard good things about accupressure, that it helps both physcially and emotionally…Has anyone tried it?

Fibromyalgia: I’ve Now Joined the Club-Youtube

March 27, 2008

There is often an overlap between lupus, fibromyalgia and arthritis, and now that is happening to me. So now, me being me, you will be seeing articles, links, etc. on this “fun” diagnosis on here in addition to my lupus stuff. But since my medical conditions do not define who I am, mostly this blog will continue to be the usual bits and pieces.  My hands are hurting these days so I’m sorry if I’m not answering everyone’s comments. I do so appreciate them and will catch up when I am feeling better. In the meantime, carpe diem!…..Oh, I found a wonderful, touching YouTube about fibro by elainejamie :

Do You Watch “In Treatment”?

March 27, 2008

In case you’re not familiar with it, its an HBO series about a  fictional therapist and his client sessions, as well as his own sessions in marriage counseling with his wife. As a shrink I think its great,  but many of my colleagues do not agree with me. We are not psychoanalytically trained, as the therapist Paul seems to be, but I still think its so real….Anybody out there watch it? Any reactions? To the therapist? Or do you identify with any of the characters?

Psychscribe Quote #25

March 26, 2008

“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward.” Kierkegaard

Man Pronounced Dead – Wasn’t

March 25, 2008

This kind of thing is pretty scary even though it had a happy ending. The young man was pronounced dead  four months ago.  Parents had finally given permission to harvest his organs.  They did one last test as parents were paying final respects and finally got reflex responses.  This week he was on a morning talk show telling the host that he had heard and comprehended the doctor pronouncing him dead but could not communicate otherwise. Can you even imagine?????????? 

You can read the full story here:

How Have Your Therapy Experiences Been?

March 24, 2008

Here’s your chance to rant….or rave….I am curious…what was (or is)  helpful in your therapy? What was not? Studies show that clients rate the relationship with the therapist to be the single most healing factor, over and above methods used. Do you agree with this?

Loving But Leaving My Dentist

March 23, 2008

I made the decision just now so I decided to write about it since I’m in bed with another  lupus flare and I’ve had to cancel my Easter plans.  I’ve been mostly sleeping for the past two days, in addition to the joint pain, and I know it could have been avoided if she’d treated me properly. All she had to do prior to and after the dental work was give me antibiotics so I could have avoided the infection which is causing this flare. This is the second time this has happened.  I have explained my condition and I KNOW my own body, but she just will not color outside the lines. So I know I sound angry because I am….so where is the “love” part of my title? Well…the selling point of her office is that its all women, nurturing and homey, lots of laughs, she’s really nice…blah blah blah but she’s obviously not qualified to treat complicated health issues.   What a boring post this is. Sorry.  Back to sleep I go.

Wedding Drama

March 20, 2008

So here’s the question  facing anyone planning a wedding… it ok to invite only the people you have a personal relationship with? Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Not really, as I am finding out as we plan my daughter’s wedding.  We have a large, extended, third generation Italian family with many cousins. So does the groom. We also have a certain number of guests we contracted for with the reception place, based upon what we can afford. So, call me crazy but it would seem to me that the people we want there should be there, rather than according to  the politically correct, family dysfunctional hierarchy.  There are cousins we are close to and cousins we barely know. Sometime even within the same nuclear family. Yet the attitude within the family seems to be, “You invite all of us or none of us”. (Picture this pronouncement coming from Marie Barone, the mother on Everybody Loves Raymond ) And the looming threat, if we do it our way, is that offended parties cut us off for who knows how long. (See my previous post “You’re Dead to Me”)

Since my daughter and I are both therapists, we are opting for clinically correct rather than what’s politically corect in this family.  Meaning that we’re not going to buy into the family dysfunction…but neither choice feels particularly good….Has anyone else been through this, and how have you handled it?

Pancreatic Cancer – hope for early detection

March 19, 2008

My father died of pancreatic cancer. Six weeks from diagnosis (Christmas Eve, thank you very much) to death two months later. The thing of it is, its so hard to detect. What I did not know, until reading this article, is that pancreatic cancer can run in families and be detected with the test this doctor has discovered:


“You’re Dead to Me” – Family Conflicts

March 19, 2008

Those are pretty strong words.  But in families where the solution to conflict is to cut each other off that’s basically what they’re saying. I used to think it was an Italian thing, since that’s who we are in my  family. But as a therapist I learned in grad school that this is a multigenerational type of family dysfunction, in people of many ethnicities. I see this in my office all the time.  I also see that the pattern in families is that there are the cut-offers and the cut-offees, if you will.  Each knows who they are, and each knows who has the power: the cut-offer. Because the cut-offee will often eat a lot of bad behavior in order to “keep the peace”,  causing terrible emotional indigestion!

In our family my father and his brother did not speak for over 20 years (I think my father was the one who did the cut-off, over money…) They reunited when my father was on his death bed and my uncle came to not only say good-bye and make peace, but also to reassure my father that he’d look after my mother financially. Funny how the money thing came full circle… Right now my mother is not speaking to her sister, my brother is not speaking to me, my kids are not speaking to each other, and my 99 year old grandmother, one of 5 sisters, will go to her grave  having cut off for over 20 years  a sister who lives 10 minutes away.

Growing up, the absolute worst punishment we could get was my mother not speaking to us, looking through us as if we were dead, totally ignoring our existence.  Talk about abandonment issues!!!

Sad, isn’t it?

Psychscribe Quote #24

March 18, 2008

“Perhaps strength doesn’t reside in having never been broken, but in the courage required to grow strong in the broken places.” Author Unknown

Finally FDA Standards for Generics are Questioned

March 17, 2008

I don’t know about you, but with my health issues I’ve been a big time consumer of prescription drugs for years. And I’ve almost always noticed the difference between the effectiveness of generics vs name brand on my body.  When I’ve asked my doctors what they take, they take brand for the same reason. Now I read that the FDA rigidly applies a standard of “bioequivalence” when testing generics . That is, the generic must deliver the same active ingredient, in the same amount, at the same rate as the original brand drug. This does not take into account “therapeutic equivalence”, which is the abililty of the two drug formulations to ease symptoms or cure disease. The inactive ingredients can result in variations  in the various formulations and effects of various generics made by various manufacturers.  I don’t know about you, but as a patient and a consumer various variations don’t make me feel warm, fuzzy and safe. The kicker here is that generics are touted as copycat drugs, or replicas of the originals. They’re not.  Read the whole article in todays LA Times.

Why I Love My Cat

March 16, 2008

She is always there for me, literally. She follows me wherever I go. She’s a great snuggler. When I hold her I feel comfort.  She talks to me with her eyes. She totally trusts me. She’s beautiful. She has taught me attunement between human and animal. She expects nothing in return except food, water, and a clean litter box. 

Also, I just read on another blog that owning a cat reduces heart attack risk by one third: 

Psychscribe Quote #23

March 16, 2008

“I can always be distracted by love, but eventually I get horny for my creativity.” Gilda Radner

My Alpha Has Done it Again

March 14, 2008

Flowers for no reason. Not a birthday, not Valentine’s Day. Just tulips (my favorite flower) delivered to my office. With a romantic note that I will not share here, but reminded me instantly of why I fell in love with him.  I know he’s not sounding so alpha these days, but I want to balance the picture by telling you that he plays war games on X-Box with his sons and buddies.

The Prodigal Daughter

March 13, 2008

The Prodigal Daughter

Thanks to a class offered by a

soft spoken South American professor

who preaches the gospel of creativity

I am whole again.

Seeking the power of steel beams and girders

I had tossed my Muse (my dearest friend) into the sea.

I needed muscle

not watercolor dreams leading nowhere.

I learned to weld and solder

to read blueprints and gauge distances

to hammer and sweat in the sun

until mine was as big as his.

I forgot how to cry.

Finally one say in class (for three credits)

I walked alone across the bridge that

I had built with my own two hands and

found my Muse waiting there

like an indulgent mother

for me to call her name.

Now words and colors and images

leap and dance before my eyes

and I paint golden wildflowers on my bridge

and I sing purple poems

and my tears fall freely now

because I have come home again,


It is indeed a form of prayer.


by Pyschscribe copyright 2008

NY Gov. Caught Using Prostitution Ring

March 12, 2008

 You may have heard recent news  about NY Gov. Elliot Spitzer getting caught allegedly using the services of high priced call girls in a prostitution ring, specificially one $4600. evening of revels. There is  an excellent article about this  in Live Science called “Why Power and Prostitution Go Together.”  It talks about the psychology of men in power and, as the old saying goes, power corrupts.  There is a long line of men (I use the male gender because statistically they’re the ones in power) who have gotten caught doing things like this and you want to say, “Are ya kidding me? Did you really think you’d get away with this?”

 Its apparently the feeling of invincibility, that once they reach a certain point on the political ladder they can’t be touched.  Also, I think, a feeling of entitlement. In addition to an illustrious line of politicians caught with, pardon the expression, their pants down, the psychology here reminds me  of Tony Soprano.  

In his prior position as NY State’s attorney general, Spitzer proscecuted two prostitution rings. Here’s a defining moment he could have done without.

Couples Clue Phone #4

March 11, 2008

Marriage or a committed relationship is not about “what am I going to get from my partner”. Rather, its about mutual stretching into “what can I do to fulfill my partner’s needs?” Its about mutual giving, not getting. The more you give, the more you get…. But I stress the word mutual. Otherwise its just a whole codependent thing going on, which ultimately brings happiness to no one.

This is the philosophy of Imago Therapy. If you haven’t read about it, you can google Imago Relationship Institute or buy “Getting the Love You Want” by Harville Hendrix. I highly recommend it as a Certified Imago Therapist.

Psychscribe Quote #22

March 10, 2008

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” Victor Borg

The Worst Things About Lupus Flares

March 9, 2008

1. Disappointing my husband because I’ve been feeling good for so long.

2. Fear that I’ll stay this way for a long time and have it happen more frequently and have to quit my career.

3. Physical weakness so I can’t really DO anything.

4. Fear of another serious attack on my body – the stroke was pretty traumatizing

5. Disappointing my husband.

I don’t know what else. I just feel depressed and felt like venting. Thanks for listening.