Category: Blog Post

How Does Change Occur in Psychotherapy?

I think it will be helpful to me and to prospective and beginning clients to try to provide an overview of how I think about psychotherapy and discuss a common question: ‘How does change occur in psychotherapy?’
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Make-Believe in the Addiction Treatment Industry

Therapists shouldn’t be in the business of make-believe. There is a great deal of make-believe in the addiction treatment industry. The truth is that giving up your old friend (alcohol or another drug) is going to be a difficult, slow process. You’re going to need a new friend to replace your old friend. The new friend will be a therapist with whom you develop an important relationship over time. Read more

Inwardness, Marital Discord, and Porn

A positive, nurturing, etc. upbringing psychologically prepares a person to successfully meet the challenges that inevitably arise in an intimate relationship. I say inevitable because there will always be some friction at times between two people, no matter how well suited they are for each other. The other person in a relationship is another person, with his/her own needs, values, perspective, trigger points, moods, idiosyncrasies, foibles, quirks, blind spots, and so on. No one’s needs, wants, etc. are fulfilled 100% of the time by one’s partner or spouse. Thus all relationships are challenging in certain ways and degree. Read more

Does Couples Counseling Help Relationships?

Does a marital crisis or some very disruptive marital event (e.g., wife discovers husband watches porn) indicate that marriage counseling is indicated? I am often asked this. For many people it seems natural to suppose that a significant and threatening marital conflict indicates marital counseling, but I think the matter requires some thinking through.  Read more

Most Psychotherapy Is Long Hard Work

Perhaps psychotherapy is misleadingly named. What does ‘therapy’ bring to mind? Everyone understands that psychotherapy means treatment. Everyone is familiar with medical treatment and dental treatment. The role of the patient in medical and dental treatment is to bring your body to the treatment site and endure what they do to you. Or take your medication as directed. Either way, you contribute little as an active participant. The success of treatment does not depend on you actively participating. By ‘you’ I mean you the person, not you the body that is being treated. A few years ago I had a hernia operation. Some kind of mesh was used. I have only the vaguest idea what was done. Nevertheless, the operation was a success.

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Ambivalence in Addiction Treatment

Does a person need therapy or treatment to stop doing something if he 100% does not want to do that something? The intuitive answer would seem to be NO, which takes us directly to the issue of ambivalence.
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Is Porn Bad For You?

Is Porn Bad For You? I’m talking about the videos you watch on the internet. I’m not interested here in examining what distinguishes artistic rendering or examination of human sexuality from porn or in examining if porn is simply a term of disapproval on the part of someone for something that another person does not find objectionable. Again, I’m talking about what you watch online that is commonly understood as porn.

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Why do people keep on drinking after the first few?

Why do people keep on drinking after the first few? The answer shouldn’t be circular or tautological, as in ‘That’s what alcoholics do.’ The answer should actually shed some light on the matter. I’ve asked myself this question many times in the course of doing therapy with problem drinkers. I’ve asked them, too. This seems to be one of those questions that the person doing the activity in question has a hard time answering. Read more

How Does Change Occur in Psychotherapy?

I think it will be helpful to me and to prospective and beginning clients to try to provide an overview of how I think about …

Make-Believe in the Addiction Treatment Industry

Therapists shouldn’t be in the business of make-believe. There is a great deal of make-believe in the addiction treatment …