Archive for the Therapist Corner Category

  • Physical and Mental Exercise and Their Effects on Dementia
    November 29th, 2017

    As those of you know who read my blog, I have been a strong advocate for regular exercise because it is very helpful for physical and mental health at any age, particularly for the aging. (As an aging person, myself, I’ve had a bit of an axe to grind!)   I have also created  a questionnaire […]

  • Working With Clients Who Have Fixed Mindsets
    May 3rd, 2017

    There are numerous ways that psychotherapists can help clients with fixed mindsets  change to a growth mindset.  I find this particularly important for those who feel a sense of shame and uselessness because they are not experiencing a sense of purpose and effectiveness in their lives.   It is especially important for those who are retired […]

  • The Mindset Concept and How it Helps to Understand Clients in Therapy
    April 23rd, 2017

    Why are some people who experience difficulties, even failures, in certain endeavors, work hard to improve,  while others give up when they begin to have difficulty?   A seemingly simple theory I have found helpful in understanding this difference in clients is Mindset, a concept Carol Dweck, a social psychologist, has identified.  She defines Mindset as a […]

  • Vipassana Noting:  A Good Meditation Method For Many Clients
    April 6th, 2017

    In the last several years there had been an explosion of interest in meditation.  There are many methods  of meditation and no one type fits everyone.  The methods I have tried are:  chanting  a  mantra;  just noticing and/or counting the breaths; staring at a simple, inanimate object like a leaf or a candle for many […]

  • More Thoughts on Working With Hostile Introject
    October 16th, 2016

    Another way the hostile introject can be softened is through an intense, long-term relationship between therapist and client.   The therapist shows the client what Carl Rogers called unconditional positive regard.  Because the client gradually sees the therapy relationship as increasingly more  safe over time, he reveals more and more details about activities his internal critical judge has shamed […]

  • Softening the Hostile Introject by Use of Empty Chair Approach and/or Voice Dialogue
    September 28th, 2016

    In a previous article, I discussed the origin and function of the hostile introject, the part of the self described as the Critical Parent (Eric Berne), the Topdog (Fritz Perls) , critical Object Representation (object relations therapy), and Super Ego (Freud).    When I worked with Fritz Perls at Esalen  he seemed to imply that […]

  • A Questionnaire To Distinguish Habit From Addiction
    July 7th, 2016

    Lance Dodes, MD, (  is, in my opinion, one of the the best writers on addiction,  He is a psychoanalyst,  and has been the director of substance abuse treatment at two institutions,   and Director of the Boston Center for Problem Gambling.  He has written three excellent books on addiction and in his last one, […]

  • Sexuality in the Therapeutic Relationship: Disguised Need for Merger
    April 29th, 2016

    Sexual feelings that occur in the therapy relationship can be a huge problem for therapists, particularly those that are relatively inexperienced.  When the client shows signs of attraction, therapists  frequently  feel uncomfortable and embarrassed and even avoid awareness of the attraction.   Instead of exploring, in a curious, dispassionate way what the attraction means to the client, young therapists frequently […]

  • Therapists Normal Narcissism: Part III
    January 3rd, 2016

    Assuming that most therapists have had their primitive, childlike narcissistic needs met while growing up, they still have certain mature mirroring and idealizing needs that at least some of their clients should gratify if they are to find their work interesting and rewarding.  These needs are, of course, different for different therapists.  But here are some of the […]

  • Therapists’ Normal Narcissism, Part II: “Idealizing Needs”
    December 15th, 2015

    In a previous posting, I discussed the normal, mature narcissistic needs that therapists need to have gratified,  at least some of the time,  in their work with their clients.   Another developmental need that Heinz Kohut, the founder of psychoanalytic Self Psychology, described, is what he called the “idealized parental imago.”    This sounds rather formidable […]