Dreams

The Verdict on Freud’s Theory of Dreams

Since the early 70s Freud’s theories have generally been dismissed. One theory in particular that has been disregarded is his theory that dreams represent unconscious wishes. For example, noted “bad-boy” actor Martin Sheen reported that he “dreamed of skiing down a mountain of cocaine that was shaped like a woman.”* This is clearly a wish dream, but dream experts now doubt that all dreams represent wishes. A related aspect of Freud’s...
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Couples

Training Your Husband to Obey

Husbands can be stubborn.

Sometimes they insist on thinking they know best. They continually push for their precious freedom. They think their judgments about things are “cool.” They pretend to listen to you, but then they go on doing whatever they want. It can be quite frustrating for a wife.

However, husbands can easily be taught to obey. Indeed, the same principles of operant conditioning, particularly shaping, that are used to train your favorite pet can be...
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Communication

Group Therapy for World Leaders

They are all sitting in a circle in my office. I imagine Donald Trump of the USA, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Kim Jong Un of North Korea, Theresa May of the UK, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran, Xi Jinping of China and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of ISIS, all sitting at a round table sipping their tea.

ME: Now ladies and gentlemen, we are meeting here today to try to talk...
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Communication

Family Rifts: Aaron Rogers and His Family

For several month news reports have hinted at a rift between Aaron Rogers and his family. The rift was first mentioned by Aaron’s younger brother, Jordan, who appeared on the television show "The Bachelorette." In one segment, Jordan Rogers confessed to JoJo Fletcher, the show’s star, that Aaron had not spoken to the rest of the family for two years and would not be there when Fletcher came to meet his...
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Children

The Cycle of Nightmare Parenting

It happened over two years ago in Waukegan, Illinois. A woman named Nicholette Lawrence beat her 11-year-old daughter, Raashanai. to death. In her court proceedings, Judge James Booras called the 35-year-old child-beater a “monster mom” before he sentenced her to 43 years behind bars. She pleaded guilty so she only got 43 years in jail. Otherwise she would have been sentenced to be jailed for life.

Raashanai Coley, her 11-year-old daughter,...
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Dreams

Are You A Dream Prophet?

Many therapy clients and students in my college classes assert that they are prophets. They tell me they dream that somebody dies, and a few days later the person they dreamed about dies. They dream that some person lost his savings and a few days later his stocks go down. They dream someone is homeless and later he ends up being fired from his job. After they have predicted such things, family...
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Communication

Cultural Anxiety: The Cost of Extremism

We usually discuss anxiety in terms of individuals who suffer from an anxiety disorder such as generalized anxiety disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder. We often discus how conflicts in the family can cause anxiety, how when parents are fighting, the children are in stress. At the same time we lose sight of other factors that cause anxiety—in particular the anxiety each individual feels as the result of conflicts in our society.

The recent election and the...
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Depression

A Simple Way to be Happy

Yes, you can be happy right now.

You can be happy with yourself. You can be happy with your spouse. You can be happy with your friends. You can be happy with you job. You can be happy.

Does that mean you have accomplished all you want to accomplish? Does that mean you are exactly who you want to be? Does that mean your spouse is exactly who you would like her (or him) to be? Does...
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Children

Tragic Consequences of Narcissistic Parenting

Narcissistic parents occasionally raise their children to be some ideal person who becomes their narcissistic extension. The “Stage Parent Syndrome” is an example of this—parents raising their child to fulfill their own blighted ambitions.

In one case with which I know about, a parent raised her child to be her little genius. This mother believed that she was a latent genius, but her intelligence had been squashed by her family. She had her...
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