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Psychiatric Diagnosis Needs Rethinking

Psychiatric Diagnosis Needs Rethinking: Psychologist Richard Bentall’s Alternative Paradigm For many years, British psychologist Richard Bentall has promoted rethinking about the way psychiatric diagnosis has been conceptualized. When I first read his book, Madness Explained (Bentall, 2006), I was immediately impressed by his carefully researched and referenced arguments that challenged many mainstream views on mental … Continue reading Psychiatric Diagnosis Needs Rethinking

Value of Psychoanalysis

Some of you have read my earlier blog, “Isn’t Psychoanalysis Dead?”  I lamented that psychoanalytic theory is often excluded from discussions in psychology courses—at what I believe is a great loss to future clinicians’ ability to understand their clients/patients deeply.  Well, I recently ran into another example of the value of psychoanalysis, of its omission … Continue reading Value of Psychoanalysis

Jacques Lacan: A Real, Imaginary, and Symbolic Psychoanalyst

Jacques Lacan: A Real, Imaginary, and Symbolic Psychoanalyst  As a practicing psychoanalyst for the past 30-plus years, I have sought to integrate the wisdom from many mentors. My supervisors and training analyst guided me through the collected works of Freud, Klein, Winnicott, and Spotnitz. While writing my doctoral dissertation on clinical psycholinguistics, I learned of … Continue reading Jacques Lacan: A Real, Imaginary, and Symbolic Psychoanalyst

Psychoanalysis, Resilience, and Meaning-Making

Psychoanalysis, Resilience, and Meaning-Making Can psychoanalysis help build resilience?  Psychoanalysis, resilience, and meaning-making may go hand-in-hand. Resilience involves being able to do better than expected in the face of difficult circumstances.  It requires inner strength.  What factors may help promote such strength?  Meaning-making—finding a sense of purpose and meaning in life—seems to be especially important. … Continue reading Psychoanalysis, Resilience, and Meaning-Making

Seven Benefits of Psychoanalysis

Benefits of Psychoanalysis What are the benefits of psychoanalysis?  Psychoanalysis benefits the individual in a number of ways that not all types of psychotherapy do.     First, some context.  In a complex society such as ours, people are challenged to adapt to a constant flow of change.  Each of us is subject to cultural, ethnic, … Continue reading Seven Benefits of Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis and Mindfulness

Psychoanalysis and Mindfulness Psychoanalysis and mindfulness may seem to have little in common.  They both involve the mind and are often focused on taming disturbing thoughts and feelings.  But their methods seem to be completely at odds with each other.  Or are they?  Let’s take a look at mindfulness and see how it may be … Continue reading Psychoanalysis and Mindfulness

Criticisms of Freud: Commentary on the Freud Wars

Criticisms of Freud: Commentary on the Freud Wars Today’s Wall Street Journal offered a book review by Adam Kirsch of, yet another, “quasi-biography” of Sigmund Freud.  The book in question is Freud: The Making of an Illusion by Frederick Crews, the latest in his seemingly endless criticisms of Freud.  As noted by Kirsch, this endless war on Freud by Crews … Continue reading Criticisms of Freud: Commentary on the Freud Wars

DSM-5 Diagnoses and Defense Mechanisms

DSM-5 Diagnoses and Defense Mechanisms Most clinicians in the United States make psychiatric diagnoses with the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).  While “DSM-5 diagnoses” and “defense mechanisms” are rarely terms seen together, the diagnostic process is benefitted by a deep understanding of the person. The DSM-5 First published by the American Psychiatric Association in 1952, the DSM … Continue reading DSM-5 Diagnoses and Defense Mechanisms

Tips for Meditation Challenges

Tips for Meditation Challenges   You know it’s good for you.  Many studies have shown the benefits of including meditation in your life.  But, whether you already meditate regularly or just wish you could, you’re probably aware of challenges to establishing it as a regular practice.  You may feel bored, restless, or impatient.  Or start … Continue reading Tips for Meditation Challenges

Are Ego Defenses Bad or Good?

Ego Defenses   Are ego defenses bad or good to have?  Is the goal of psychotherapy to remove defense mechanisms or strengthen them?  Can mental health be defined as the absence of ego defenses?  Or are some ego defenses better to have than others? Questions like these are posed frequently by graduate students, clinicians, and even psychotherapy patients … Continue reading Are Ego Defenses Bad or Good?

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