Archives for Communication


The Deeper Meaning Of Blame Vs. Punishment In The Brain

C. R. writes: A recent study from Vanderbilt University seems to show that blame and punishment are decided by two different parts of the brain:
Juries in criminal cases typically decide if someone is guilty, then a judge determines a suitable level of punishment. New research confirms that these two separate assessments of guilt and punishment -- though related -- are calculated in different parts of the brain. In fact, researchers have found that they can disrupt and change one decision without affecting the other.
—Vanderbilt University. "How your brain decides blame and punishment, and how it can be changed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 September 2015.
This is both fascinating and timely!

Ten Important Days
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Do You Really Need To Talk About Your Past?

Does therapy absolutely require you to "talk about your past?" Do you need to "go down that road?"

My answer, adapted from Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On, may surprise you.

Your therapist will, beginning from the very first session, evaluate how you cope with problems and challenges. Where your coping skills aren’t as strong as they might be, a good therapist will teach you how to strengthen them. I believe that generally, only then, should your therapist ask your permission to go ahead and explore important events in your past.
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Being Shy Can Be A Good Thing

A little over a decade ago, I was consulted by a young couple regarding their nine-year old son. The school had recommended counseling. They felt his shyness and lack of participation in class was concealing a deeper problem, perhaps abuse, depression, or other issue.

The boy had once participated freely in class, but by mid-year, he never raised his hands and looked like he was daydreaming. The parents took him to a specialist who felt he might be on the autism spectrum and recommended therapy. They wanted another opinion.
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Gary Vaynerchuk Says In-Person Meetings Are Essential

C.R. writes: When communications & marketing guru, technology and cultural commentator, rule-breaking investor and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk has something to say about the value of in-person meetings, we should pay attention.

That's because Gary has mastered the digital life. As an internet marketing and digital-media visionary, he exploits to the fullest the online world. It has made him very successful.

But it's not all business.

Gary Vaynerchuk really has thought deeply about the way relationships
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Creating A Basic Relationship-Agreement

Just because we cannot, with our limited human abilities, describe absolute truth doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

One of the primary ways discussion can collapse into heated argument is when both sides cannot agree what truth is or what the past looks like. While both sides are entitled to their own points of view, agreeing that there is a truthful reality that is independent of individual perception is often important when solving differences.

If you are in relationship counseling, it might be helpful in some circumstances to set the past aside and work on outlining concrete guidelines for the future of the relationship.
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Therapists: Could A Medical Condition Be The Cause Of Your Client’s Mental Illness?

A well-trained and dedicated medical doctor will consider whether or not there is an emotional component possibly triggering a physical issue, such as stress in the case of fatigue. But often, those in the mental health field, especially psychotherapists, might not evaluate and rule out medical or other issues in the case of a client presenting with a mental illness.

In training sessions with interns and therapists-in-training, I emphasize the importance of doing a comprehensive evaluation before diagnosing—and doing therapy with—a client. I explain that when it comes to a mental health evaluation it is as vital for therapists to determine which factors are contributing to or causing mental illness, whether that mental illness is mild or more severe.

Yet many therapists jump right into talk therapy at the first or second visit; not everyone in private practice examines medical records or asks their clients to get blood-work done.
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