Archive for the ‘therapy’ Category

Relationships: True Intimacy

May 1, 2009

True intimacy is achieved when you feel safe enough to be emotionally naked with your partner.  You know your partner will not try to talk you out of your authentic feelings, will not say you’re “over-reacting”,  will not try to fix it, and will not ignore you. You know you will be supported and validated no matter what you’re feeling and sharing, verbally or otherwise.  You know you will receive empathy.This is love, pure and simple…


Psychscribe Quote #58

April 19, 2009


“Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.” Sigmund Freud

Would You Want to Know Your Therapist Has Lupus?

December 21, 2008

I struggle with this one since so often I have to cancel people out because I’m flaring.  I advise them that I have a chronic medical condition which unfortunately knocks me out. But I think it also sends the message to patients that my needs are more important than theirs. People are really great about it, but it bothers me that I cannot offer the consistency and dependability people need when they go to therapy. 

For example, I was flaring last week and told people I’d be calling them today, Sunday, to hopefully reschedule tomorrow. Well as it turns out I now have a cold and still need to stay at home.  It sounds so…flaky… and the STRESS of the uncertainty only makes me feel worse .  One thing about lupus is you need to really baby your body when anything comes on because your immune system cannot  defend the body against invading viruses, bacteria, etc.

Therapists are trained to only self disclose for the benefit of the patient.  I’m thinking that if they knew exactly what the medical condition is, they would understand why I have to frequently cancel and the uncertainty of when I can reschedule. But I’m not sure if I’m considering telling them for my benefit, so they won’t think badly of me, or theirs, so they won’t feel blown off and therefore feel badly about themselves. And then I’m afraid that if they understand the seriousness of my condition, it might scare them off…

So I’d really appreciate your input on this, especially if you’ve ever been a therapy patient. Would you want to know its lupus? How do you think this would make you feel? How might you respond?  Or is that way too much information?  Do you think the “chronic medical condition” is enough of an explanation?

Thanks for any help you can offer me here.

Psychscribe Quote # 48

December 16, 2008


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“Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.” Author unknown.

Mental Health Day: True Confession

December 4, 2008




I’m taking one today. I mean, everyone else gets them. Why shouldn’t I? Even shrinks need mental health days once in a while. I need to relax and not HAVE to get in my car and go anywhere, be anywhere. No pressure…Mmmm…..

So lets see….I think I will dust today since I have an allergy to the stuff and its a real pain to walk around choking all the time….and do more Christmas shopping ONLINE (I don’t do malls anymore)..and finalize my choice of photos from the wedding for my “parent album”…oh…and i guess it would be a good idea to search again for my very expensive, lost wedding rings, I know they’re in this house someplace…and i need to get started on the jewelry I’m making for Christmas gifts….and call my mother which is never, ever less than a one hour conversation (that’s another whole post  in itself)…and I have several, repeat SEVERAL baskets of ironing that I’ve been avoiding like the bubonic plague…and for that matter there’s probably at least the same amount of  wash to be done…

Ok, so this is not what I’d advise a client to do on a mental health day. I would suggest to a client that she do something fun, relaxing, no chores allowed! But then again, for some people, getting chores done on a day when they would be going to work  is good for their mental health because all that stuff is no longer waiting for them…hovering.stalking them…

I guess I should call this my housework health day.

Tell us the truth. What do YOU do on your mental health days?

Parable of Two Wolves

November 13, 2008



An elderly Cherokee was teaching his grandchildren about life. 

He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me, it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.” One wolf is evil………..he is fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, competition, superiority, and ego. 

The other is good……… he is joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.” 

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” 

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” 

Am I “addicted” to the Internet?

November 10, 2008

I just read the psychology news brief in my sidebar:  Chinese Issue First Definition of Internet Addiction.  “Symptoms of addiction included yearning to get back online, mental or physical distress, irritation and difficulty concentrating or sleeping.  The definition, based on a study of more than 1,300 problematic computer users, classifies as addicts those who spend at least six hours online a day and have shown at least one symptom in the past three months.”

Who? Me? Do nights count? Well….I’ve never counted how many hours a day I spend online.  But its a lot. I blog, read others’ blogs, go online for news, weather, telephone numbers, to shop, bid on my ebay beads, and find out lots of other information or research that interests me. I also email lots of friends, and belong to various professional listservs that I read to stay current in my field. The internet has replaced magazines as a source of leisure reading, and most of the major newspapers are now online.

I definitely get irritated when I can’t get at my computer when I want to, and I sometimes yearn to get back to it when I’m in a boring social situation. I doubt its 6 hours a day, but maybe I’m  in denial. Maybe my family will shock me with a group intervention. Though I don’t know where they’d find time since they’re all online too…

What amazes me about this news article is that they were able to tear the people away from their computers and into psychiatric units.  Unless…ew…they were taken involuntarily?

What do you think of this definition? And where do you fall according to these guidelines?

Women Who Run with the Wolves

August 1, 2008

This was a book that was very popular a long time ago, all about female identity and breaking free of culturally imposed “shoulds and should nots” and living from, and for, our souls. Its written by a Jungian therapist.  For some reason I just could never get into the written version, try as I might. Now, years later, I’m doing audio books as I commute to work and I’m listening to her narrate the book.

Its wonderful!!!! She talks about myth and fairy tales and what they really say about women and it is just so thought provoking and inspiring. Her voice is enchanting and I can’t recommend it enough.

Enjoy your day!

Psychscribe Quote #34

June 13, 2008

Copyright 2008 JupiterImages

         “Love dies only when growth stops.” Pearl S. Buck

No Kids – Not by Choice

June 10, 2008

Ok, so I had to sneak in a quasi post  (a  little withdrawal here )  offering you a link to a great article in today’s NY Times about people who struggle with infertility treatments and finally make the choice to stop this invasion of their lives and souls. I hope it helps someone.

Is it OK to Search a Partner’s Phone?

May 6, 2008

That question came up as one of my search inquiries today, and I thought was a good one. There is the issue of violation of boundaries vs. a partner’s right to know. Obviously one who searches cells and emails etc. already doesn’t trust the partner, but there are also other ways of handling it. That being said, spoken like true therapist, I must admit that as a human being, if I thought my Alph was (were????) straying I don’t know if I’d be able to take the high road and process in a healthy manner.

Your thoughts?



Internet Addiction Test

May 2, 2008

Are you addicted? Here is a link to a self assessment.

It does give one pause for thought….


Psychscribe Quote #31

April 29, 2008

“Sometimes you don’t realize how miserable you were until you’re not anymore.”  Dorothea Benton Frank from her novel Shem Creek.


Slow Suicide, Ladies?

April 16, 2008

Hurray for the French! They’ve proposed a bill banning those awful websites like ana and mia that teach women how to be successfully anorexic or bulimic. Proponents of the bill  say it would curb the awful prevalence of these psychiatric disorders. Opponents say it would have no impact. I say it would.

Cultural values spawn bigots, racists, sexists, and homophobics. It makes sense that the cultural worship of female emaciation as the norm spawns desperation in some women to live up to the sick standard of the fashion industry. And unfortunately the  female culture itself.  Imagine if we had a movement, and websites, which substituted the words “slow suicide” as a means of attaining physical beauty?

The culture of the internet is not to be underestimated. After all, what are you doing right now?


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….

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?

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?

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.

Cats Are Good for Mental Health

March 6, 2008

GiannaKali has posted a great article citing research that cats are good for mental health. Check it out!

Shrink’s View from the Couch

March 4, 2008

Well I told you all that I’m trying hypnotherapy for my lupus, in order to hopefully kill the psychological dragons that are lying in wait to attack my body…I’ve been in therapy before (as any good therapist should) but this is really really hard. Because my therapist is all about releasing the trapped emotions in the body which are causing the disease (needing to be expressed). Makes sense, doesn’t it? Only thing is, I hate it! You can’t get away from your emotions when you’re focused on where they are in your body the whole entire session, and I know this as a shrink, I always tell my clients “you have to feel in order to heal” but I sure don’t like doing it myself!  Avoiding painful emotional trauma  is something I learned in childhood, of course, a wonderful coping mechanism at the time, so I’m really not liking to have to go there now….on the other hand, if it can save my life I can’t thing of a better motivator! So I truly feel forced to go deeper than I ever have before…and I don’t like feeling forced to do anything.

Signed with painful honesty, Psychscribe

Psychscribe Quote #16

February 20, 2008

“Much Madness is divinest Sense-

To a discerning eye-

Much Sense-the starkest Madness-

‘Tis the Majority

In this, as All,  prevail-

Assent-and you are sane-

Demur-and you’re straightaway dangerous-

And handled with a Chain-“

                             Emily Dickinson

More on Therapist Slaying

February 13, 2008

Well, this article pretty much validates my point in my previous post about screening potentially violent clients (to put it mildly). Still, who’s to know if she didn’t do this and assess him to be safe? You can never really know…Anway, I for one have ADT coming over to give me an estimate for some panic buttons for myself and my therapists. Geez….makes me feel so sick when I think of that poor woman. I mean, we do go into this field to help people…what an ending

NY Therapist Murdered by Patient

February 13, 2008

Horrified, I watched the story on the news this morning, shocked and  stunned.  At 9 o’clock last night a patient went in and used a cleaver and a knife to murder his therapist, a 57 year old woman.   Another male therapist tried to come to some assistance, but was injured and unable to stop the carnage. This is truly every therapist’s worst nightmare, and a wake up call to me to get a security system that goes right to the police station.

I think this is also a wake up call to therapists everywhere to thoroughly screen prospective patients on the phone before even making the first appointment. There are a lot of ways we can ask questions and history to make an educated guess if this is a safe person or not. I’m not saying the victim of this murder didn’t do the screening. I am saying too many therapists I know do NOT.  Way too many of us feel that we work with “issues” not “pathology”. But sadly, as this incident proves, pathology has no boundaries and can surface in any of our offices.

I am so very sorry for the victim and her loved ones.

Predictors of Divorce

February 11, 2008

John Gottman, a leading researcher in couples relationships, studied couples over time and came up with what he calls the Four Horsemen. Couples who used these communication styles were more likely to end up in divorce: contempt, criticism, stonewalling, and defensiveness. What he suggests instead is to speak with respect rather than contempt, to complain about something rather than to criticize (attack)  the personal characteristics of the other person, responding to the partner rather than shutting down (stonewalling) and owning some part of the complaint as valid rather than being defensive. If you see yourself here you may want to work on your relationship or seek professional help.

Affairs: Have You Strayed? (Repeat Post)

January 26, 2008

* I’m sorry to have to repeat, but my previous post didn’t make it into the categories due to a bug that wordpress is diligently working on. So for those who never read the first one, please read on: 

Affairs are one of the most frequent reasons people come to couples counseling. I plan to begin a series of posts about affairs that may be of help to you and your partner. But first I’d like to hear from some people who have been through this. (The next post will ask questions of the spouse or partner who has been cheated on.)

Are you male or female? Have you ever had a one nigh stand? An actual affair? Why? Did you choose to remain with your partner? Why? Did you tell your partner? Why or why not?