Psyching the Zeitgeist:
Current Culture Through a Mental Health Lens

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

Johnson and Tronick: Love Sense

Attachment theory has influenced the field of psychology and has become the primary undercurrent for many theoretical approaches. This video is about Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), which was created by Dr. Susan Johnson. The video incorporates the “Stillface” video that was created during Dr. Edward Tronick’s studies of attachment with infants and their mothers. Dr. Johnson labels both infant and… Read More

Worried About the Election? You’re Not Alone.

In a recent New York Times article, “Talking to Your Therapist About Election Anxiety” , therapists weigh in about how the current election is impacting their clients.  People on all sides of the political spectrum are feeling anxious, afraid, and less safe. Our relentless news cycle exacerbates the hypervigilance many are experiencing. We, too, have seen this… Read More

Anna Freud, her Father, and Gay Conversion Therapy

I came across a post in the Ms. Magazine blog today, about Rebecca Coffey’s 2014 debut novel, Hysterical: Anna Freud’s Story. Based on historical accounts, it tells the story of Anna’s analysis by her father, Sigmund Freud, which included attempts to “cure” her lesbian tendencies. According to Coffey, the analysis actually happened. At the time, Sigmund was universally… Read More

“Therapy Wars”: Some thoughts about current psychotherapies

In Therapy Wars: the Revenge of Freud (theguardian.com, January 7, 2016), Oliver Burkeman details the shake-up caused by recent research challenging the assumption of the superiority of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). He cites several examples, including Norwegian research that found that the effects of CBT wore off over time, a large British National Health Service study that found an 18-month course… Read More

Lessons from Star Wars

The Characters of Star Wars have been with us for almost 40 years, and many of us have grown up with them. The stories in these films are woven into every aspect of popular culture. So what can the lives of the Leia, Luke and Han teach us about ourselves? Through the lens of family therapy and… Read More

Niche Market Therapy?

A story in the February 7 New York Times Style section highlights the relatively recent phenomenon of therapists gearing their practice to a specialized, and sometimes narrow, demographic, e.g. LGBTQ clients, newly married clients, or those in the tech industry, the last especially prevalent in urban centers such as Silicon Valley and metro Seattle. The piece concludes, though,… Read More

Daring Greatly: How The Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms The Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead

Don’t let the cumbersome title of Brené Brown’s latest book discourage you from reading it. The title is the only snore in a lively work that is rare in its relevance for every single one of us. We’ve all felt shame. Most of us have shuddered a bit faced with the word vulnerability, even more in imagining... Read More