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 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 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
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 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 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 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 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
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?
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Psychoanalytic psychotherapy (also called psychodynamic psychotherapy) is a contemporary form of treatment for mental health issues that has evolved from its roots in psychoanalysis over the last 100+ years. This form of treatment emphasizes a comprehensive understanding of the client (“patient”) as a person, as opposed to following a strictly symptom-oriented approach. By … Continue reading What Is Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy?