Loving Our Neighbor

Every religion, Buddhism (a path to Enlightenment), and secular humanism include some variant of “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”.  This is the bedrock of our humanity, and it’s quite impossible to posit a moral code without basic respect and care for the other. My goodness though, don’t we try to get around this!  Various iterations […]

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Mozart’s Umbrella

I’m acquainted with a Golden Retriever named Mozart.  People might say he possesses two natures, like the original Mozart, both scatological and divine.  But it’s more accurate to say he just does better than most of us in integrating the dualities common to all of us. As a dog, it’s not always easy holding onto […]

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Bias is Born

When I was a new therapist, I found myself involved in what is sometimes called a NIMBY issue.  NIMBY means “not in my back yard”, and refers to opposition to types of development or people living too close to one’s own living space.  My situation involved community resistance to state-mandated rental housing for individuals recovering […]

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My Mother is Unbelievable

My 95 year-old mother died recently, terribly disappointed that I didn’t die first. As she was pushing 90, she almost ran me over. I’d heard the hiss of brakes as I got out of the car in front of the post office. There she was, behind the wheel of her custom-made Cadillac – so close, […]

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Black History Month

I’ll know that things have really changed when I regularly see white women pushing black babies in strollers. I’ll know things have changed when a white person is accused of playing the “race card” when he or she mentions something related to race. I’ll know things have changed when they stop locking up young black […]

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Consistency

If you take a moment to really think about it, the diversity of our world, and its living things, is captivating. On the other hand, there are times when consistency is important. I read about a legislator in West Virginia who is an outspoken critic of civil rights for LGBT people. He is quoted calling […]

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Swearing By My Kids

Our firstborn spoke early. By eighteen months, she was insinuating herself into conversations with “let’s talk about life” or “how are we all getting along?” One evening she was lying on the rug, uncharacteristically playing with a doll. It was the sort of doll where the eyes shut when you lay it down, but she […]

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Reciprocity and Psychotherapy

To be sure, psychotherapy is a relationship. Personal and relational growth and healing takes place within the context of a relationship. Apps for anxiety, PTSD and other emotional struggles can be quite helpful. But they rarely take the place of a relationship, nor does research indicate that they have the same efficacy. It is relationships, […]

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Can Psychotherapy and Religion Get Along?

Psychotherapy has traditionally been solidly secular, and along the way garnered a reputation for actually being dismissive and scornful of religious belief.  Sigmund Freud considered religion to be an illusion, akin to Marx’s opinion of religion as an opiate.  Interestingly enough, Freud’s followers are still frequently called his “disciples” as often as they are called […]

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Homework

It is not unusual to see conflicts between parents and school-age children diminish during the summer. Why? Because there’s no homework.   While the potential academic benefits of homework have been debated for over a century, it is a rare family who does not regularly experience homework as a source of argument and tears.  Except […]

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