Numerous studies have shown that once we become attached to someone, the two of us form one physiological unit. Our partner regulates our blood pressure, our heart rate, our breathing, and the levels of hormones in our blood. We are not longer separate entities. The emphasis on differentiation that is held by most of today’s popular psychology approaches to adult relationships does not hold water from a biological perspective. Dependency is a fact; it is not a choice or a preference. -Amir Levine M.D., and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A. “Attached: The New Science or Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find-And Keep-Love.”
For many years I have been speaking to the increasing shift in traditional gender roles and the ways in which this shift is altering the power differential between the sexes. In my practice, I see these changes manifest in a variety of new and interesting ways, both adaptive and maladaptive. My work is primarily with men and this latest New York Times article gives a comprehensive overview of the very real and immediate need to foster and accept emotional vulnerability in men for the sake of their health and success.
“Last semester, a student in the masculinity course I teach showed a video clip she had found online of a toddler getting what appeared to be his first vaccinations. Off camera, we hear his father’s voice. “I’ll hold your hand, O.K.?” Then, as his son becomes increasingly agitated: “Don’t cry!… Aw, big boy! High five, high five! Say you’re a man: “I’m a man!”
A recent New York Times article explores how the current U.S. work culture reflects a greater balance in gender relations but has also created an untenable work-life imbalance as pressure to succeed and even just keep up is forcing both genders to neglect domestic life and caretaking functions that were once the nearly sole province of women.
“FOR many Americans, life has become all competition all the time. Workers across the socioeconomic spectrum, from hotel housekeepers to surgeons, have stories about toiling 12- to 16-hour days (often without overtime pay) and experiencing anxiety attacks and exhaustion.”
In our culture, the term naricissist is used often, informally and carries a pejorative connotation. Jari Chevalier’s podcast, Living Hero, examines narcissism from all angles and provides a more humanistic perspective on the clinical meaning of the word. Continue reading →
I am pretty comfortable with self-disclosure so the information in this New York Times article isn’t one of my main concerns (knock on wood) but it’s interesting nonetheless. I can see the pros and cons of clients having access to more information about their therapist but I’m wondering what effect this will have on more traditional practitioners or those who are not comfortable with this level of transparency. The internet is definitely changing the nature of the therapeutic relationship.
I knew my psychiatric practice was forever changed the day a patient arrived with a manila folder stuffed with printouts and announced that it contained the contents of a Google search that he had done on me. He pulled out a photo of my mother and me, age 7, that had been published in my hometown newspaper; architectural plans for an addition to my house that was never built but apparently was registered locally by the architect; an announcement about my great-grandfather’s becoming editor of Amazing Stories magazine in his old age; and my brother’s history as a college activist. (See below for a link to the full article.)
The Psychology of Horror: Why We Love Scary Movies
Saturday, October 25th, 7PM Scarecrow Video5030 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle 98105
I’m sure I’m not alone in questioning my attachment to horror films (which I do in earnest each October.) Why do I persist in subjecting myself to a genre that at times robs of me of sleep, gives me nightmares, makes me wary of everyday objects and sometimes causes me to lose feeling in my extremities? I don’t have all the answers but I think I have a few and so does my friend and colleague, Stacey Weber. Continue reading →
I came across this article on shame by Robert Karen in the bibliography of a presentation on narcissistic wounding and the part it plays in addiction. In his article, Karen includes the historical and social aspects of shame as well as the individual experience. He draws a distinction between “normal” and “pathological” shame. “Pathological shame is an irrational sense of defectiveness, a feeling not of having crossed the boundary but of having been born there.”