“I Feel That You’re Crazy”

Many years ago, a woman, Sally, said these words to me in a therapy group where we were both members. Sally was obviously angry at me for something; but after all these years hence, the details escape me. I do remember my response, however. I said: ” You might be right but...
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The Value of Being in the Moment

The theme of this year’s annual conference of  the Eastern Group Psychotherapy  Society (EGPS) in New York City, is: ” Being Alive in the Moment”.  Yesterday, at a workshop that I attended, someone asked a good question: “What’s the value of being in...
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OCD–An Attempt To Control What Can’t Be Controlled

In my clinical experience, symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder are an ineffective defense against  strong objectionable feelings  like anxiety and anger. This may seem like a radical notion.  While my data are anecdotal in nature, there seems to be clinical evidence to...
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“I Can’t Afford It” Sometimes Means “It’s Not Worth It to Me”

Discretionary spending decisions  are the result of a choice based on one’s emotional value system; but rather than consider our choices as a result of our emotions, we tend to treat ourselves as objects and think we’re making decisions through rational thinking...
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I Hate Texting

In addition to the obvious dangers of distraction, like texting while driving or getting on or off public transportation, there are social and emotional dangers as well. Except for occasions that involve an exchange of information like “I’m running late” or...
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An Awesome Responsibility

I recently received a phone call from a fellow who requested a consultation.  When I asked:  What was his problem?” he said that he needed a psych evaluation for a license.  I was incredulous and asked:  “For a driver’s license?”  “No, for a gun...
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Should We Hold On To You Or Let You Go?

A colleague called and asked my opinion on a problem he was having in his group.  One member was driving the group crazy waffling about whether to stay.  When the group attempted to convince her to stay–she felt controlled. In frustration, the group supported her leaving...
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The Best Time To Talk About Someone Is Behind Their Back

When group members feel guilty talking about an absentee, I half-jokingly say:” The best time to talk about someone is behind their back”. This encourages the resumption of the conversation. My goal is for the group to share their feelings about the missing person but...
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What Are Your Dreams Saying?

Some members  come to group in the throes of indecision about a major life choice.  They don’t know what to choose.  I ask them: “What are your dreams saying?”  Our conscious minds are often clouded by our unwillingness to face difficult emotions about life...
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Death Ends A Life; It Doesn’t End A Relationship

When a group member’s loved one has died, I encourage them to tell us about the person. I say:  “Tell the group about your loved one”.  What were they like, good and bad, stories about them, reminisces and the like.  Offering condolences is usually an empty...
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Goin’ Viral

I was dismayed to learn that Mark Manson’s article “We All Miss The Point On School Shootings” May 27, 2014 went viral.   While he makes some good points, he seems to offer a simple and naïve  solution to a complex problem. That is, he appears to imply that to...
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She Was Bound By Paper Shackles

Rose could have freed herself at any time from an unhappy marriage but she chose to stay. She had many reasons why she couldn’t leave, she said; but underlying them all was a feeling of guilt. It wasn’t so much that she felt guilty about leaving him as it was her...
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