Donald Trump And Group Psychotherapy

As a group psychotherapist, I am heartened by one very positive, ironic and inadvertent twist to the debacle over Donald Trump’s mental health. It seems to have whetted the public’s interest in psychology.  As a recent NY Times editorial noted, you don’t need to...
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A Case Of Mistaken Identity

You have received a new contact form message.                                           This is an actual e-mail. Only the name and the sender’s location have been changed. Dear Dr. Pepper : I love my Diet Dr. Pepper!  But in the last month or so it seems like every bottle...
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The Complicity of Members in Groups That Do Harm

In recent days, the headlines have been ripe with explosive stories about the abuses of power at the hands of misogynistic men who run the movie and TV industries. While these revelations are egregiously shocking, they are nothing new, as tales of the casting couch go all the way...
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Letter to The Editor NYT 12/08/17 “He Showed Me His Tiles, So I Showed Him Mine’ by Christie Tate

To The Editor: While it was heartening to read that group therapy helped the author resolve her tendency to select inappropriate men in her romantic life, as a group therapist  I have a professional responsibility to let the general reader know that not all group therapists blur...
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Letter To The Editor of NY Times: The Unexamined Male Libido

To The Editor: As a group psychotherapist and sociologist, I concur with the author’s assessment of the vicissitudes of   the unexamined male libido. However, I disagree with his conclusion.  In the last paragraph he writes: ‘I’m not asking for male...
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George Gershwin & His Mother

In a recent and brilliant lecture/concert  at the 92nd Street Y, Dr. Richard Kogan, a psychiatrist and concert pianist,  told the audience about the life of George Gershwin and also played his music. One amusing anecdote about Gershwin’s life keeps running through my mind. ...
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I said, “No way!”

Recently, I received a call from a guy who said he found my name through an internet search.  I asked him, “How can I help you?” He said that he needed a letter from a licensed psychotherapist to vouch for his fitness to own a gun. He asked me, “Will you write a...
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Support Groups & Psychotherapy Groups Complement Each Other

A colleague of mine with years of experience in multiple 12 step programs who would prefer to remain anonymous wrote: I checked out your post and I like it but I’d like to weigh in on a few things since I have experience in support groups (AA for 14 years). -The anonymity is...
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Support Groups Aren’t Therapy Groups

Some people confuse the two; they are not the same. However, they complement each other. Support groups are not therapy groups for several reasons. First, support groups are self-help groups and members are encouraged to have contact with each other outside the group. ...
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Kids Say ( And Do) The Darnedest Things

While driving past a cemetery, my 5 year old grandson asked us, “Is this Heaven?” When he said good-bye to his big sister for the summer, as she left for sleep-away camp, he asked his mommy, “Is this what sadness feels like?”   My granddaughter,...
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“Some People Don’t Want What They Say They Want” New Table of Contents

  Table of Contents Some People Don’t Want What They Say They Want– 100 Unconventional Interventions in Group Psychotherapy      Acknowledgments   Preface   Introduction   Part I: The Nitty-Gritty of Doing Group Psychotherapy Phrases that Inhibit Spontaneous Interaction...
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Phrases That Inhibit Spontaneous Interaction

Here is the first chapter from my new book, “Some People Don’t Want What They Say They Want–100 Unconventional Interventions in Group Psychotherapy” Chapter 1 Phrases that Inhibit Spontaneous Interaction If the goal of the group contract—Say how you feel...
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For Father’s Day

Chapter 40 He Left Out the Best Part of the Story Pogo once said, “We have met the enemy and he is us” (Kelly, 1953). Everyone has a story. By that, I mean we all put a spin on the events of our lives that fits the script of who we tell ourselves, and the world, we think we are....
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Revised Table of Contents for ’99 Unconventional Interventions in Group Psychotherapy

5/31/2017 Table of Contents 99 Unconventional Interventions in Group Psychotherapy Preface Introduction Part I: The Nitty-Gritty of Doing Group Psychotherapy 1. Phrases that Inhibit Spontaneous Interaction 2. Leading a Group Should Be Gratifying Part II: Some People Don’t Want...
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Never Tell A Bulimic-“Don’t Binge!”

Chapter 133 Never Tell a Bulimic, “Don’t Binge!” Food, like sex, is one of the pleasures of life. But, just as with sex, if taken to an extreme the pleasure of food morphs into a compulsion. That is why eating disorders are one of the most difficult disorders to treat. Obviously,...
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Chapter 101 The Final Chapter

Chapter 101 The Final Chapter Woody Allen famously said, “I’m not afraid of death. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” Have you ever walked into a room and have forgotten why you walked in there in the first place, only to fear—is this it? The beginning of the end of...
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The Ego And The Yid

                                                    Chapter 65  The Ego and the Yid   An accountant by profession, one of my male group members, Manny, fancied himself to be a rabbi. Manny used the group as his bully pulpit; he gratified his oral needs by holding forth on...
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Chapter 12 Go Away but Don’t Leave Me Alone

Chapter 12 Go Away but Don’t Leave Me Alone   Consistency is not really a human trait. Our attitude toward relationships is no exception. On the one hand, as the line of the song goes, “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” On the other hand, as the...
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The Emotional Inheritance

Chapter 213: The Emotional Inheritance The long buried but long simmering resentment between siblings often rears its ugly head again when the parents die and the will is contested. I call this phenomenon the emotional inheritance. Many members devote much of their time and...
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You Can’t Recapture A Moment

Many times, in both my personal and professional lives, I seen people, myself included, attempt to recapture a past precious moment.  For better or worse, it doesn’t work. In fact, the harder one tries to recapture it, the more elusive it becomes. Let it go an...
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