“Today’s Feast Cannot Compensate For Yesterday’s Famine”

Some group members have been so damaged by childhood emotional neglect that no amount of TLC in the present can undo the past.  It’s like water through a sieve; nothing accrues. Although Henry is not Catholic, he claims that his life’s mantra is mea culpa. He reports...
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What Are You Going To Do In The Meantime?

When group members get lost in ‘futurizing’ about how much better their lives will be at some distant time and place, I first will  ask them:” And what are you going to do in the meantime?” The point is that we all are of two minds about almos...
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Einstein’s Biggest Blunder Wasn’t Brilliant–It Wasn’t Even In Science

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about Mario Livio’s brief depiction of Freud in his book, “Brilliant Blunders”. While Livio devoted considerably more time and space (play on words intended) on Einstein’s scientific blunders, for me, his most significant...
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Freud’s Brilliant Blunder

Mario Livio, in his book “Brilliant Blunders”, addresses the subject of how the mistakes that genius scientists make actually advance scientific knowledge.  He goes so far as to say that science cannot progress without  these brilliant blunders. Unfortunately, Livio...
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Gonna Mess You Up With My Love

When I opened the door to my office and stepped into the waiting room, I was immediately struck by the beauty of the young woman seated there. She had long blond hair, translucent skin and blue eyes, as if Marilyn Monroe herself had somehow come back to life and was now here to...
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Shine “Spotlight” On “Gaslight”

After watching the terrific new film, “Spotlight”, it occurred to me that there are similarities between this movie’s theme and that of the classic 1940’s movie “Gaslight” (where the husband attempts to drive his wife mad by invalidating her...
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Anyone Who Wants To Be President–Shouldn’t Be Allowed To

President Obama seems to think most world leaders are ‘out of their minds’. I agree but disagree with his assessment of how this comes about.  Apparently, he believes that the job itself makes a man (most world leaders are men) crazy. I think the process starts before...
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We Don’t Live In A Perfect World

Early this brisk morning on  New Year’s Day,  while I walked past the Church on my corner, I saw a  homeless guy sitting on the steps.  We made eye-contact and he asked me, in a foreign accent, if I lived around here.  I was startled and initially put off by the question...
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What Could I Say?

Sitting at my desk on this dark, dreary winter’s evening, I recalled a warm, sunny late Spring afternoon some years ago. While vacationing  at Fair Harbor on Fire Island NY , I stood on the dock and watched a family of swans  swim past, in a straight line.  The family...
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Addictions Are A Bad Solution To A Deeper Problem

  We, human beings are dependent creatures. We are born dependent and need each other throughout our lives; but when our relationships don’t meet our dependency needs, we often turn to substances as a substitute. That’s why drug dealers never have to advertise. ...
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Isn’t It True?…We Men Are Big Babies

We want our mommies.  Sometimes, the need for immediate gratification takes precedence over good judgment, and motivates behavior that is infantile and even reckless, no matter how high a man’s station in life–think Monica Lewinsky. Although I don’t have a lot...
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My Meter Was Off

Years ago, while examining me during a pre-op physical, my surgeon complained to me about his wife .  Three times within the same sentence, he referred to her as his mother.  I said;” You’re lucky my meter is off.  Otherwise, I’d tell you that you married your...
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The Body Poet

Emotions are like energy. Feelings  can neither be created nor destroyed, only transformed. This conservation of emotions can take three possible forms: 1. they can be put into words 2. they can be acted out 3. they can be put into the body and be transformed into symptoms. In...
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The Best Way To Treat A Bully (Trump) Is To Bully Him Back

Isn’t there an interviewer out there brave enough to take him on and bully him back? I would love to see Lewis Black interview him. Trump really is an easy target if you think about it. I mean he has very serious character flaws–  rigidity, paranoia and without...
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“Why Does My Son Treat Me Like a Shmatte?” (Yiddish for Dish Rag)

“Because you’re too good” was my reply to Ruthie who posed this question to her therapy  group. She was incredulous as to why her adult son was disrespectful and demanding, and with a great sense of entitlement,  despite the fact that she and her husband gave ...
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All Behavior Has Consequences

We don’t exist in a vacuum.  In fact,  we live in an ecological world where our words and our behavior effect the way others experience us and react to us.  In one of my therapy  groups, for example, Harry, a 30-ish male member, told us that he was offered a promotion at...
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Emotions Are Like Energy: They Can Neither Be Created Nor Destroyed- They Can Only Change Form

As I noted in my last blog, there is a striking similarity between the physical world and the emotional world. The resemblance is profound. Einstein’s insight about the nature of energy, known as the Theory of the Conservation of Energy, applies to emotions as well.  There...
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Dr. Sigmund Freud & Sir Isaac Newton–Strange Bedfellows Indeed

While writing my new book entitled,” 101 Unconventional Interventions in Group Psychotherapy”,  it occurred to me that there is a similarity between the laws of physics and the dynamics of unconscious process. If you’re interested, read on. Believe it or not,...
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If The Good Outweighs The Bad In Relationship–You Stay

It is a simple formula but not always so easy to abide by. So when group members are self-critical for having stayed in a relationship that no longer works, I remind them that if it were all bad, it would have been easy to leave. There is a smile of relief when they can accept...
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“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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