Some of the goals of therapy

To find ways to love and accept love

How to stop getting stuck in feeling bad about yourself

To create a fuller and happier life

To find ways out of helplessness and the feelings of being overwhelmed

To find a way out of the unnecessary pains, sadness, and losses in our lives

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Evolution and Social Needs

Stanley Kubrick's film 2001 has a brilliant 10 minute start.  In these few minutes we watch a troop of primates in the somewhat early history of the planet (presumably, before the advent of homo sapiens) foraging.  The camera cuts to night fall and we see the primates sleeping in a cave, all but one.  This lone figure sits outside the cave,  awake and alert.   In this darkness we hear the sound of predators in the night.    Kubrick has crystallized in a short imaginary scene, one of the adaptive advantages of being a social animal.   The needs for connection, for belonging, are built into are genes because in the long trek of evolution the genetic makeup which pushes for social groups is more successful.   The problems evoked in connections whether pairs, small groups or larger social entities cannot be worked through without accepting and owning that each of us has a set of social needs.  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Weight and Corporate Capitalism

Sometime in the late 70's Americans began losing their "shape".
It is estimated that over fifty percent of our countrymen and women are overweight.   What happened and what is going on.   The food industry, trying to maximize profits, started researching the question of how do we sell more product - obviously they noted, we get people to eat more of our product.  Through extensive research they found a set of formulas which increased eating.   Essentially, the food industry and especially the fast food industry found that basic food stuff could be treated as a delivery system.  The researchers found that levels of fat, sugar and salt can be adjusted to profoundly influence the opioid receptors in the brain.   By increasing the fat, sugar, and/or salt to  optimal high levels the person would in essence become "addicted" to the food product.  As these addiction formulas were being fine tuned, a second major development was underway.   In simplest terms, two income families became necessary and the norm.   Working more to keep up, the family meal became more difficult to create.
Marketing stepped into the struggle and showed us images of happy folk eating fast food and processed food.   Fast food in particular is the apex of the "food as a delivery system for an addictive combination".
These addictions often are experienced as "urges" to eat and most of us are quite susceptible to them.
Often after responding to the urges we find ourselves wondering about "how come we did that".

So, what to do about these urges which are an expression of the addiction.   One method is to redefine these addictive foods,  think and speak of them as if they are cigarettes,  as a product put forward by  calculating, indifferent "fat cats" who are messing with your brain.   At the same time accept that we are vulnerable humans and that we will at times fail to stop an urge.  Get up after a relapse and continue your efforts to see these food delivery systems as corporate capitalism's indifferent misuse of us.

For recent research check Science News the October 6, 2012 issue, the article, "Tricks Foods Play"
recently an article in NYT -

Friday, August 17, 2012

Aging and Mortality

Sometime in one's 60s the events of consciousness begin to change.  At the center of consciousness is the subjective "I" sort of looking out at the outer world and attending to the inner world.   The shift in mentation which I am pointing at has to do with the arrival of "things" from the inner world.   Simply said, the arrival of thoughts, physical sensations, images, and other mental representations will more frequently have a footnote - the footnote being, "does this mean I am on a short path to my ending".  
At first this query can send a silent shudder through one's mind.   After surviving the fear the challenge becomes how to make use of these warning signals.  Am I right now living the life I want?  How do I get there?   We each have the gift of life, we each get a certain number of heart beats,  am I using these moments the way I want or am I wasting my heart beats.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"You're too sensitive"

When someone hears this declaration directed at his/her self, initially he/she will feel confused, misunderstood, and/or shamed.   The person asserting the "you're too sensitive", is trying to erase what the accused is pointing at - the messages the other may have been sending.   Usually, the person trying to erase is trying to cut off dialogue, to stall an inquiry into the possible messages being sent.  Often, this scenario takes place in childhood.  A major consequence of this kind of scenario is for the child to turn away from using his/her mind to articulate the complexities of human interaction and process.   Often this will mean the child will give up trying to understand what his/her tears are saying.   Yet, unconsciously the person often continues to sense meanings implicit in their interactions with others.   He/she is then left in a kind of haze and fog about the "real" and "fantasy".

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Push of Sexuality

Our Media is filled with headlines regarding sexual behavior.  From heads of state to sexual predators the push of sexuality exerts its presence.   From married couples to single persons our lives are swayed and altered by sexuality.  There are  many things we could say about the sexual life of humans.  Sexual differentiation is the propulsive force for evolution.  The first organisms to reproduce sexually were related to the blue green algae.   For our species sexuality has a tremendous push/pull in our mental life and our behavior.    Each of us has to learn to integrate this force in our lives.  How to recognize its influence and many faces.  Many times the push of sexuality, especially for males, overtakes their conscious self and leads to sexual experiences which have terrible consequences for their lives.  This alienated sexual state/moment subordinates the future and relationships for the immediate.   One task of therapy is to help undue this alienation, to bring thought and understanding to the push so that informed choice can happen.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

leonard cohen 77 and going strong

Just like Leonard to continue to touch are minds and hearts.
His new record, "Old Ideas",  go to Youtube: