Archive | October, 2013

Negative Emotions

30 Oct

 A goal for psychotherapy is to help the client be able to experience and accept the full range of experience and emotional reactions, including uncomfortable ones like anger and sadness. Real life has ups and downs. (Scientific American, 2013, 24, 2. pp. 26-27). Positive reactions are not the only ones that can be adaptive.


27 Oct

Oxford University researchers found that kissing more than frequent sex indicates overall marital happiness. ( Health & Science. The Week, 2013, 13, 641, p. 17) 

Limits of Cheer

24 Oct

Scientific American (2013, 24, 2): Anger and sadness are an important part of life, and new research shows that experiencing and accepting such emotions are vital to our mental health” (p. 26). Therefore, don’t just accept the positive.

Friendship Tips

22 Oct

To strengthen friendships: 1) Share confidences, 2) Respect each other’s choices, 3) Make up after conflict, and 4) Be there through hard times.  (Scientific American Mind, 2013, 24, 2)

Quite a writer!

18 Oct

Jeanette Winterson’s (2011) Why be happy when you could be normal? is an autobiography as compelling as any novel. This author vividly renders her duel with madness to win clarity. She does win but not without deep scars that cover easily reopened wounds. Her story, as she herself notes, is one of many in literature and real life where the wound is very near the gift. She is a gifted artist who can recognize both her gifts and her personal limitations.

Mending the past

15 Oct

JJeanette Winterson (2011) in her novel, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? ( New York, Grove Press) eloquently holds out the prospect of our mending the past and recognizes Freud’s contribution. She said, “Freud, one of the great masters of narrative, knew that the past is not fixed in the way that linear time suggests. We can return. We can pick up what we dropped. We can mend what others broke. We can talk with the dead” (p. 58).


11 Oct

Michel de Montaigne: He who fears he shall suffer already suffers what he fears.


6 Oct

I have recently seen two good movies: Blue Jasmine and And Enough Said. In both movies the central female characters were caught in webs of lies of their own making. The woman in Blue Jasmine, very like Blanche DuBois in Streetcar Named Desire, could not extricate herself because her pretense was too pervasive and too important to her. The lies and her adherence to them destroyed her psychologically and decimated her relationships. The central female in Enough Said, after being caught and making efforts to cover, was able to admit to her deceptions, understand why she had needed them, and feel real guilt. Because she could face the full implications of her lies, she was able to make sincere apology and mend her relationship with a man she had deceived but could now more fully love without needing to diminish her affection through her lies to self and him.

Deserves Repeating

3 Oct

Reba McEntire: To succeed in life you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone.”