RIP Koko

RIP Koko

Koko the gorilla just died. This happened when I was travelling with my students.  I told them, and it turned out that many of them had never heard of her.  Koko was a western lowland gorilla who was particularly known for having learned over 1000 signs in American Sign Language.  She was a skilled communicator who proved that gorillas are capable of empathy, compassion, and grief.  In her travels, she met many famous people including Robin Williams and Mr. Rogers. …

Travels to Vienna with my students

Travels to Vienna with my students

Psychology has its roots in the upper class of Vienna, in the early 1900s.  Freud famously was one of the first to engage in talk therapy- mostly with upper class, neurotic Viennese women who didn’t have anything to do but spend their money on expensive analysis. I am privileged every year to take a group of mostly American university undergraduates to visit the city and get an immersive experience amongst psychology’s beginnings.  This year, as is usual, we left on…

The Sleep Whisperer

The Sleep Whisperer

Many of my clients report difficulties sleeping.  In my psychological travels, I am often on the lookout for apps and programs that assist with sleep.  There are quite a few out there, from the sounds of nature and white noise, to meditation and finally to rambling voices that supposedly take one’s mind off of their own noisy thoughts. The sleep whisperer is a podcast produced and narrated by a delightfully sensitive man who only goes by the name ‘Harris’.  The…

Does having children make you happy:  compulsory parenthood in Denmark

Does having children make you happy: compulsory parenthood in Denmark

There is a baby boom happening in Denmark right now.   Every other Danish father pushes a stroller that is a cross between a full-sized crib and a Humvee.  Couples that have waited until their late 30s to try and conceive can rely on the government to assist them with their fertility treatment, if they need it.  Many people relate this recent ‘baby boom-let’ to the humorous campaign instituted a few years ago by the Danish government to inspire Danes to…

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’….

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