Should therapists accept holiday gifts?

December brings the annual pleasures and challenges of holiday gifts and how to deal with them in dynamic psychotherapy. Although it is relatively easy to follow a simple rule about this, ideally a good deal of thought goes into a therapist’s decision about whether to accept a patient’s holiday gift. Below I will give a […]

If I accused you of being a Martian...

Cross-posted from “Sacramento Street Psychiatry“.

In dynamic psychotherapy, patients often say how hurt and victimized they feel as a result of unkind judgments or criticisms by others:

“My coworker called me a hypocrite!”

“My mother told me I neglect her by not visiting enough.”

“My husband complains I’m too self-centered.”

Although sharing such complaints with […]

Carlat on mindless psychiatrists

My fellow psychiatrist and blogger Dr. Daniel Carlat has an article in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine. “Mind Over Meds” is a memoir of Dr. Carlat’s growing realization that psychiatry can’t be done well in 15-20 minute medication visits, that talking to patients as people is important too.

I’m generally a fan of Dr. […]

Does knowledge dilute the magic of therapy?

A reader named Kim wrote:

I do tend to be cerebral and look for stuff on the internet like this blog to try to get more insight into what my therapist is doing. I am curious, do you think this dilutes the “magic” of the therapy somewhat, or do you think it is helpful or […]

Sailing between support and insight in therapy

Cross-posted from “Sacramento Street Psychiatry“

For more than a decade I’ve taught a seminar in dynamic psychotherapy to psychiatry residents. One tricky issue that arises every year is the apparent choice between conducting a “supportive” psychotherapy, versus an “analytic” or “insight-oriented” one. I developed a sailing analogy to clarify this issue, and to teach an […]