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Boundaries

5 Practical Applications of Castration You Can Use in Your Clinical Practice

"Castration Collage" by Mihaela Bernard

Okay, you've probably heard the word "castration" before and it was probably in the context of cutting some precious body parts off. If you google it, you'll stumble upon quite the gory images of cut off body parts, removed testicles, and mutilated animals.

That's not what castration is about in a psychoanalytic sense!

Even though the origin of the term does come from the idea of castrating, cutting off, the psychoanalytic meaning...
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Break Ups

Do’s and Don’ts When Dealing with a Break-Up: Lessons from the Movie “Begin Again”

I just saw a great movie about dealing with loss and break-ups, Begin Again, and have been listening to the soundtrack over and over again for the past 24 hours. I had no idea that Keira Knightly was such a talented singer, and I certainly rediscovered my appreciation for Adam Lavine and his electrifying falsetto.

The movie touches on love, infidelity, loss, parenthood, music and creativity, but most importantly, it shows how to channel the energy of a broken heart into a creative gift for humanity....
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General

The First Psychotherapy Appointment: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Did you know that the first therapy session is considered one of the most important sessions in the psychoanalytically-oriented therapeutic process? There is a saying that "the end is in the beginning" in our circles and under the right circumstances, we, psychoanalytic psychotherapists and psychoanalysts, pay special attention to those first few meetings.

Maybe that's why making it to the first appointment is also the hardest step for many people. I get plenty of inquiries about scheduling...
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Anxiety

How Strong Relationships Can Improve Your Quality of Life

Back in March, I stumbled upon an interesting study one morning on CBS This Morning, addressing the question of “What makes a good life?” I had been thinking about my own clinical work and how many of my clients over the years have talked to me about their relationships. I knew I had to write a post about it and finally I got around to it.

Mental health issues are often related to dissatisfaction, dysfunction...
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Anxiety

Fear of Commitment? Struggle with Anxiety? Maybe You Are Afraid to be Loved

Unconscious fear of intimacy; fear of being loved; fear of commitment; do you allow yourself to be loved? These were a few of my working titles for this blog post.

The word that keeps coming up is FEAR or in other words, ANXIETY. I hear the word anxiety far more often in my practice than I hear the word fear. People are a lot more inclined to say, "I struggle with anxiety" than "I struggle with fear." In any case, this is a...
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Couples

Being a Couple Versus Being Parents: Why is it So Hard for Some Couples To Stay Together After Having Kids?

“Hippo love” by Scott Richard; pic by torbakhopper

Some of you may know that many of my friends and family are at the age of having small children right now, including myself. You can imagine that as a parent and child and adolescent therapist, I talk to a lot of other parents, who struggle with their roles of mothers and fathers. This struggle often impacts their...
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Anxiety

Social Anxiety vs. Shyness: How to Recognize the Signs of Social Phobia in Adolescence

In my practice, I’ve worked with many teenagers and young adults whose primary presenting concern is social anxiety. That may not be why they come to seek treatment, however. Often, it is because of the consequences of the disorder - depression, inability to be successful in the world, feelings of isolation, increased anxiety, inability to engage with people in a meaningful way, etc.
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General

7 Things Sigmund Freud “Nailed” About Love & Sex

If there is one thing that almost all of my patients speak about in psychoanalytic psychotherapy in one shape or form, it's LOVE. Am I really lovable? How do I make my relationship work? Why can't I find a stable partner? Is there something I am doing wrong? Sound familiar? Maybe you are one of the few people out there who doesn't ask themselves similar questions.

Either way, we all NEED to feel loved, especially around Valentine's Day. Love, sex, fantasies, and relationships are on our minds today...
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