Psyching the Zeitgeist:
Current Culture Through a Mental Health Lens

What is Feminism?

At a recent Women’s Therapy Referral Service member meeting, we explored the questions, “What is feminism?” and “What does it mean to be a feminist?”. We are a feminist organization, after all, and questions such as these are good ones for us to periodically explore. The outcome of this discussion was interesting. While we all could agree… Read More

Working Hard to Keep Everyone Around Us Happy

In her 4/7/18 New York Times Opinion Pages piece, Maureen Dowd writes about the “weird pattern” of women having sex with men they’re not attracted to. She asks, “You can lean in, but you can’t walk out?” I squirmed at this seeming suggestion of blame and letting men’s bad behavior off the hook.  At the same time,… Read More

Grief, Loss, and Technology

My father’s birthday was March 14th, and I’ve been missing him a lot lately. He died two and a half years ago of Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia, at sixty-nine years old. I’ve also been thinking a lot about my iPhone. This is because it’s been acting up–freezing on me for periods of time, refusing to give me access… Read More

How to Survive Seattle’s Long Rainy Season

The cold, gray rainy days of Seattle a winter can make even the perkiest people eventually feel blue. I’ve just perused several articles on this topic in case you are too waterlogged and gloomy to do it yourselves. The good news is that there are things you can do to make soggy weather bearable. The bad news… Read More

What to do When the Holidays Aren’t Happy

It’s a common expectation that the holidays are cheerful and that you should be too.  In reality, the holidays can be anything but cheerful for many people.  Here are three situations that can be especially challenging: Loneliness Psychologist Guy Winch, Ph.D addresses the negative health outcomes that accrue from chronic loneliness and suggests that people anticipating loneliness… Read More

Growing up with a Mentally Ill Parent

Photographer Melissa Spitz has created a powerful photo essay, You Have Nothing to Worry About, which tells the story of her mother’s mental illness and how it impacted the family. In Melissa’s words: “By turning the camera toward my mother and my relationship with her, I capture her behavior as an echo of my own emotional response. The images… Read More

Increased Depression and Anxiety amongst Young Adults

The last few years, I’ve noticed an increase in young adults seeking therapy for anxiety and depression. These college students, as well as recent graduates newly in the work world, are overwhelmed by both internal pressure and external stresses. For many there’s an underlying paralyzing perfectionism–a need to excel to do the best and the most. Clients… Read More

The On-Demand Culture and Therapy

We in Seattle live in a busy city, with its strong economy, burgeoning population, changing demographic, and the many challenges these bring. The corporate technology culture that’s become predominant in central Puget Sound exerts a powerful influence on our sensibility, values, and priorities. I call it the “on-demand culture”. Want to buy something? Order it from Amazon… Read More

Self-Care in Turbulent Times

In the current political climate, many of us find ourselves switching between wanting to know everything that is going on and desiring nothing more than tuning out all political news and conversation.  While there are multiple factors that can contribute to such mixed feelings, we can point to few elements. First, as social beings, we are all… Read More