The Mantra: Don’t Do A Number on Anyone And Don’t Let Anyone Do a Number on You

While the focus of this blog is about keeping the exchange of feelings between members flowing in a psychoanalytic treatment group, it is intended to be of use for all emotionally significant interactions, whether in therapy or between people in their real lives. Many of my group...
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Freud Wasn’t Completely Wrong

We all know that Freud got a lot of things wrong.  However, his basic premise is spot on– unassailable.  He said that:  “ All behavior is motivated”.  In his brilliant and controversial first book:  “Psychopathology of Everyday Life”, Freud lays out his thesis from his...
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Validation of My Work

Dr. Pepper :   I met you at the conference book signing in San Francisco, and I sat in on your early morning session. I was energized and empowered hearing you in person. I am so validated as I read your book! I am not finished and will respond with more thoughtful comments. I...
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Insult to Injury

Dr. Pepper, I saw your recent inquiry about a panel, and I have long and winding response to this, with some questions of my own: I wanted to connect with  you a bit at the conference to share a disturbing experience I had, that seems right up you alley of professional focus...
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Is Group Psychotherapy Inherently Unethical?

The other day, I received a call from a colleague who had just read the section of my new book (Pepper, 2014) on dual relationships in group psychotherapy. In that section, I make the argument that since dual relationships involve outside the group contact, they are by definition...
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The Emotional Inheritance Made Worse By An Intrusive Therapist

As devastating as a loss of a parent can be, the fallout between siblings over the inheritance can be equally as shattering to the stability of family. “The Emotional Inheritance” refers to the family dynamic in which the in -fighting between siblings is rarely about just the...
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Two Different Paternal Moments on the Subway

This past Saturday, while waiting for the downtown E train on my way to Columbus Circle, I saw a young father, a  tourist I supposed, with his little daughter, looking confused as he read a subway map. I had an immediate feeling of paternal identification as I remembered...
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“The Conspiracy of Silence in Group Psychotherapy” — Lives On!’

Yesterday, I was informed that my proposal to present my book at the Division 49 ( the Group Psychotherapy Section), of the American Psychological Association was rejected for this year’s Annual Conference. While not surprised, I am baffled by the decision. My work is at...
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The Ultimate End of Treatment

I found out on New Year’s Eve Day that my psychotherapist of thirty years, Rosalind Kaplan, PhD, lay dying in a hospice facility somewhere. If I hadn’t just written a book that I wanted her to have a copy of, I would never have known that her life is nearly at its end. As it...
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Siblings in Group Therapy

It seems to me odd that there is very little mentioned about siblings in the indexes of group therapy texts, because to my mind: Group therapy is sibling relationships.  That is, as they exist in the form of the ‘as if’ sibling relationships between members.  In the treatment...
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The Fallout in my groups after writing a book about my own group therapy experience

Werner Heisenberg in his work with quantum mechanics noticed that measuring the direction of a sub-atomic particle changed its speed and measuring its speed changed its direction. From these observations, he derived his famous theory of indeterminacy which deceptively simply...
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WHAT TO LOOK FOR AND WHAT TO AVOID IN FINDING A SHRINK

When looking for a therapist, many people are drawn to profiles that describe the clinician as “Warm and caring”. These character traits aren’t necessarily what you should be looking in your search for a psychotherapist, in a friend, of course but not so much for a therapist, or...
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Ethics and Boundaries

Over the past 25 years, I have written numerous articles and one book on ethics and boundaries in group psychotherapy.  The following PowerPoint is a schematic representation of my research findings. The basic thesis is that alterations of the frame of treatment always have...
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When it Comes to Group Therapy–It’s All About Boundaries

Not long ago,and at the insistence of his girlfriend who threatened to leave him if he didn’t, a young man came to my office for a psychotherapy consultation. I asked him: ” How can I help you?”.  He said his girlfriend told him that he had relationship issues....
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Molly O’Shields

Years ago Peggy Bice and I wrote a pilot for a sitcom called Molly O’Shields based on her real-life work as a staff therapist at a mental health clinic. The first episode was funny, smart and quirky.  We had a professional script writer edit it, hence the red lettering, but...
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Two Tina Fey Moments

While walking my dog early one Summer morning along a quiet lane on Fire Island, I crossed paths with her as she walked her little white poodle. As a dog walker at 7:30am, she looked like any other dog walker . I recognized her nonetheless but didn’t want to make her feel...
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