Mental Health Apps

Mental Health AppsGive up your therapist? Not quite yet. But some exciting new trends in self help can be easily accessed right from your phone.

Most mobile phone apps are intended as an adjunct to therapy rather than a replacement for it. Patients can learn to relax themselves, monitor their moods, and attend 12-step meetings. Even the Veteran Affairs National Center has developed an app for Read More

Don’t Believe What You Think

Don't Believe What You ThinkThere are many reasons we practice meditation. One of the most widely touted is its ability to help us manage stress and feel relaxed. This is all well and good; however, I think the most important benefit is that it teaches us to break our identification with our minds. We watch; we breathe; we observe our thoughts float by like clouds. When a particular thought captures our attention, Read More

Madison’s Apple Tree

Madison's Apple TreeMadison is as wide eyed as any child has ever been watching her seedling push its way up out of the Styrofoam cup. Like many kindergarten kids in America, her class has planted apple seeds and is waiting for them to grow. The children tend the plants lined up on the windowsill, learning that they require water, sunlight, and tender loving care. The students are taught about photosynthesis, and the making of chlorophyll. Mostly, they learn Read More

After the Insight, Now What?

After The Insight Part IBack in the days when Freudian lying-on-the-couch therapy was all there was, insight into one’s problem was considered enough to provide a cure. However, insight-as-cure didn’t turn out to be the case – we’ve all heard about Woody Allen in treatment for decades, his neurosis only growing. Many people walk around with great insight into why they do what they do, baffled as to how to use the information to change their lives.

Caitlin understands there’s a correlation between her father’s abusiveness and her attraction to unkind men, but still she continues to date them. Josh knows Read More

You Might Prefer an Active Meditation

Active MeditationWhen most people hear the word “meditation,” they envision a serenely calm person sitting blissfully, probably with their legs crossed in the lotus position. What is going on inside that meditator’s head, however, may be a different story. Their mind is most likely struggling and overwhelmed with its many dramas, anxieties, and infatuations. Many people can’t stick with a meditation practice because it is just too darn uncomfortable.

The benefits of meditation have been well documented: reduced stress, better health, concentration, spontaneity and creativity. There are purported psychological and spiritual benefits, such as Read More

The Eyes – Your False Friends

The Eyes Your False FriendI often send my single patients to Starbucks to sit and people watch, in a different way than they are used to. I ask them to scan for people who look kind, responsible, trustworthy: the type of person, for example, who thinks it would be fun to coach Little League after work. People often get all tangled up in their love lives because the kind of person who would make a good parent to their future kids does not look like the person who fuels their erotic Read More

The Bossa Nova Cure

bossa nova, getz/gilberto, bossa nova cure“When I’m listening to bossa nova, it seems like everything’s right with the world.” I was talking to my therapist of the time about my (then) chronic depression. I hadn’t been seeing him that long and we were still finding out if it was a fit. “That slinky slide,” I said, “that bittersweet quality, that sexy smooth sunlight-on-the-beach thing. You get the feeling that whatever happens with the world, it’ll be okay.” I looked Read More