Interesting Is Such An Interesting Word

When group members react to each other by saying;” That’s interesting”, I say; ” interesting is such an interesting word”.  In other words, you can do better than that. “Interesting” says nothing about the member’s emotion response....
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An Unanticipated Benefit of Being A Group Therapist

Today is the 10th anniversary of my mother’s death. I had completely blotted this fact out of my mind until I this afternoon when I led a group of  middle-aged men and women that are caregivers to their own elderly parents. I had been feeling down and enervated for the last...
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“What’s Love Got To Do With It?”—-Cynicism Comes From Hurt

“Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?”  When group members react cynically to the motivations of others in the group, and indeed, are cynical of people in general, I point out that cynicism comes from hurt.  Invariably, these group members have been deeply...
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In Group Therapy–“I Don’t Know” Means: “I Don’t Want to Know”

When it comes to feelings, there is no right or wrong. Feelings just are. In the new movie, “Inside/Out” the main premise is that all feelings have value and that life is a package deal; you can’t have good feelings unless and until you can accept all feelings,...
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I’ll Never Forget—–“Good For You”

I just received the bad news; my therapist of 30 years, Rosalind B. Kaplan, PhD., has died. Of all the good things that I learned from her over that time, one simple sentence stands out today. It was: “Good for you”. I said it yesterday to my 3 year old grandson, CJ,...
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Your Life Won’t Change Until You Stop Drinking

When  substance abusing group members complain about any aspect of their life, I tell them that nothing will change, in their lives, unless and until they stop drinking, drugging, gambling, sexual acting out or whatever compulsive behavior, or behaviors,  that they are...
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Are You Happy With Your Weight? Pt.1

At the screening interview, there are times when the first thing I notice about the prospective new patient, seated in my waiting room,  is that they are clearly overweight, sometimes even obese. But more often than not, when I ask: “How can I help you?” Weight is not...
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When a Patient Brings Up Two Apparently Separate Topics–There is Often a Connection Between Them Pt.1

Sally came to treatment in a crisis.  She wanted to evict an irresponsible roommate but she could not bring herself to do it. Sally wanted my help to give her the courage to throw out the ‘free-loader’. Almost in the same breath,  she then told me of  an  affair  that...
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When A Patient Brings Up Two Apparently Separate Topics There’s A Connection Between Them Pt.2

My hypothesis was that Sally felt  guilty about the affair and was ‘using’ the roommate as her punishment. Of course, all of this was part of Sally’s unconscious oedipal agenda and as such it would never stand up in a court of law, so to speak. So I decided that...
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