Dr. Tom Insel scorns traditional psychotherapy

When one of America’s most prominent psychiatrists expresses deep disdain for depth psychotherapy, especially when that criticism is misinformed and hopelessly outdated, it should concern all of us.

Dr. Tom Insel directed the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) from 2002 to 2015.  Formerly a psychiatric researcher “at the cellular level,” he studied medications […]

Psych jargon as media hype

Hype cuts through the noise to reach a jaded public. It’s common to use psychological terms, especially related to trauma and abuse. What are the pitfalls? […]

“Being with” patients in the office and online

Is there more “presence” during online therapy, or in the office — even while wearing masks? […]

COVID Hysteresis

Hysteresis isn’t hysteria, but it’s irrational all the same. Why relaxed COVID guidelines make us hesitate. […]

Returning to the office

I finally returned to my office after a year and a month. Or more accurately, since I was in my office all along making video calls, it’s some of my patients who returned.

Two weeks ago the CDC issued new guidelines: people vaccinated against COVID-19 can meet safely inside without masks. The guidelines appear […]

Does psychiatry add to political discourse?

Quick, grab a weapon!

Millions of alarmed Americans, and people the world over, grabbed the nearest bludgeon to fend off the Trump presidency. They reached for anything handy: street marches, sympathetic pundits, counter-tweets, progressive infotainment, social media. Unfortunately, most of these reactions only fed a vicious cycle of attack and counter-attack.

For the relatively […]

HIPAA-compliant email: a review

The problem

In the months since the COVID-19 pandemic forced me to practice by video and phone, I’ve exchanged much more email with patients than I did before. Previously, I discouraged email from patients. For one thing, I knew it was an insecure channel, not “HIPAA-compliant.” It’s also somewhat less personal than a phone […]