Time passes; you get older and become an adult. You have gone to college or not, you have a job, you make money, perhaps you are very successful, you get married and have children. You still have parents. They are, if this is the case, the toxic parents you grew up with. They have changed little if at all as you grew from childhood to adulthood. You have a life of your own as an adult, but your parents are still part of your life, still in your life. How they are in your life, I suggest, may be the most important determinant of your adult life.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Sunday, January 8, 2012
The title refers to a perennial disagreement among people who treat addictions of all sorts, namely whether to think of addiction (to alcohol or sex or anything else) as the problem (disease, disorder…) itself, or whether to think of addiction as one sign (and not the only one) of a problem that actually generates the addiction (as well as other signs, if one looks carefully).
Saturday, December 10, 2011
First the usual caveat about “addiction”: It does not lend itself to precise definition. It really is a term indicating use (substance or activity) on the part of someone that has come to stand out to others or the user him/herself as damaging well-being and which resists efforts to eliminate or modulate.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Perhaps therapists see a biased sample. Perhaps there are people who recognize a need to change something important about the way they live and execute change in a timely manner. But I must admit that what stands out to me as a therapist as well as through informal (non-therapy) relationships is how hard most people find it to change any well-entrenched aspect of how they face the world or live in the world day to day, regardless of how desirable it might seem to let us say “upgrade” how they go about living life.
Monday, August 1, 2011
The issue of how therapy can help a person move away from excessive, self-harming use of a substance or activity cannot be discussed meaningfully without attention to the actual intention of the person entering therapy.
Friday, July 1, 2011
Published in The Humanistic Psychologist, Volume 38, Issue 4, 2010
Link to published article
Proponents of the reality of mental disorder claim that mental disorder is ontologically real in the same sense that the variola virus and smallpox are ontologically real. The chief architect of the DSM-III revolution, Robert Spitzer (Zimmerman & Spitzer, 2005), candidly admits that a diagnosis of primary mental disorder present must be arbitrary because the distress or social impairment under consideration could well be a normal-range reaction to stressful events.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
with David Cohen, Ph.D.
Any effort to discuss or study psychopathology (by any name) must decide how to distinguish between psychopathology and narratively comprehensible reactions to adverse circumstances of life. A pathology framework, which views the distressed individual as acted on by impersonal forces, is incompatible with an agential framework, which views the individual as the protagonist in a unique story.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter and Spring 1994, Volume 15, Numbers 1 and 2, Pages 1-18, ISSN 0271-0137
(connect to: The Journal of Mind and Behavior)
The present paper intends to clear the way to considering all psychopathology as responses to failures in the human environment by examining three common sources of error in scientific reasoning about psychopathology: (i) the false identification of "biological considerations" with the sub-interest of organic pathology, (ii) the idea that a person could be genetically predisposed or vulnerable to psychopathology, (iii) the failure to distinguish between causal forms of explanation and explanation based upon connections of meaning and significance.
For convenience, the omnibus term "environmental failure-oppression" (EFO) is introduced to refer to the totality of possible failures in the human environment.