Revisting Marriage and Loving Kindness

Revisting Marriage and Loving Kindness

In September I took a trip to Houston (post-storm Harvey) and attended a workshop on Gottman-style relationship therapy.   This is something I have had a growing interest in;  the wealth of ultra-useful data grows by leaps and bounds.  This week, I am also teaching my undergraduates about marital therapy which has caused me to update my lecture materials and contemplate again, about what we know and do not know about long term romantic partnerships. As an introduction to what I…

From the Gottman’s

From the Gottman’s

I have always been drawn to the Gottmans’ work.  When I was in graduate school, I noticed that a lot of practitioners hung a shingle out by their practice and advertised that they were a ‘couples therapist’ without having any real training in couples therapy.  At the time, there wasn’t as much research about couples work as there was about work with individuals.  But the Gottmans changed that in some of their revolutionary work on couples, in the ‘love lab’….

Maintaining relationships with aging parents on another continent

It has become clear to me over the last few years that being an expat means having your heart in two different (at least) places.  For me, I have my family, including my oldest son, and parents and sisters, in the States and my spouse and newer friends here.   Skype works relatively well, but I always feel I am dividing myself between two different continents in the connections I am trying to form and maintain.  To add complication to this,…

Final review of ‘8 Keys to Forgiveness’ by Robert Enright

As I mentioned in a previous post, I think that the topic of forgiveness is so very important both in mental health, but also for a grander version of world peace.  Imagine if the Israelis and Palestinians could forgive each other (in fact, there are people working on that.  Click here for more information)!  In general, I will say that I liked, but did not love this book.  I had to work at reading it, more than I usually do. …

RIP Rebel Princess for reducing mental health stigma

Carrie Fisher in her iconic role as Princess Leia RIP Carrie Fisher, the openly Bipolar, addicted actress who brought us one of Hollywood’s first, strong female role models in her portrayal of Princess Leia in the Star Wars series.  She was only 60, when she died.  In her books, she chronicles her struggles with mental illness and addiction.  I write about her, because the Star Wars series has figured prominently into my life (I was 11 years old when the…

Final Review of ‘Authentic Happiness’ by Martin Seligman

I finished reading Seligman’s ‘Authentic Happiness’.  Overall, I quite enjoyed it and it was a good reminder for the coming New Year, to take stock of one’s strengths, and to design a good life for oneself.  I think that many of us in the Western World are lucky in that we no longer have to expend energy on basic survival; instead, this book reminds us that we can construct a pleasant, meaningful and related existence. Here are some pros and…

Second book of the month– ‘Authentic Happiness’ by Martin Seligman

When I went to graduate school in 1988, we were educated in psychological testing, statistics and research design, and psychopathology.  At the heart of psychology was the treatment of psychological ills and the removal of suffering.  Since that time, there has been an emergence in the field of ‘Positive Psychology’—psychology that is strength based and focuses on promoting happiness, as opposed to relieving suffering.  My other book that I will be reviewing at the end of the break is Martin…

Some light reading for the holidays

So occasionally I read and review a self-help book to use in my practice.  Feel free to read along with me if you would like.  The one I have been recently reading is about forgiveness.  It’s called “8 Keys to Forgiveness” by Robert Enright, and can be found here on Amazon.  It’s available as a kindle book, as well.  Before I bought it, I specifically looked for something that was not spiritual in nature.  In my initial search, I found that…

How much ‘stuff’ does one need, to be fulfilled?

I ran across this article the other day, and now am looking forward to seeing the movie.  It’s about a man who, following a relationship break-up, decides to give up his worldly possessions.  He films the process, for a year, and creates a documentary.  Here is a link to the article:  documentary about giving up ones’ possessions One example of a tiny house When I moved to Denmark four years ago, I originally decided that I was going to bring…

Coping with the sexual side effects of antidepressant medication

I remember when Prozac first came out, in the late 1980s.  It was marketed as a kind of miracle cure for depression, and was considered a preferable alternative to the then MAO-inhibitors and Tricyclics that were being prescribed at the time.  Prozac was marketed as having almost no side-effects, which was in stark contrast to the available drugs for treating mood disorders. Soon after doctors started prescribing Prozac,  we began to get complaints from patients about their ability to orgasm…

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