The psychological defense mechanism of projection can distort a parent’s judgement about their kids, or it can create a wedge between a couple, since projection interferes with the ability to see one’s partner as she truly is. The (unconscious) grip from the past gets in the way. Here’s a therapy session that looks at how this projection process played out in one family, and how it was–for the moment-transformed.
Most people believe that they can’t change their partner. “My husband is the way he is,” or “My wife is that way with everyone.” They imagine their partner to be a fixed entity. They see themselves as primarily responding TO their partner, a one-way street filled with frustration. People fail to understand the most fundamental Law of Intimate Relationship Physics: Each partner changes and helps to create the other. The only question is how.
In this post Dave reflects on a case from his early career in child psychiatry, where he recounts his play therapy experience with a seven-year old autistic girl. He still winces when he remembers his therapeutic mistake, but remains grateful for his relationship with this young, silent girl, and what she taught him.
Check out this compelling Op-Ed by Professor Carol Cohn from the New York Times. As a security analyst, she’s got a window into the dangerous mix between “masculinity” and weaponry. […]
Probably the most painful aspect of an affair is the breaking of trust. Most of those who’ve been betrayed wonder if restoring trust is possible. That’s understandable. And it’s impossible to have a lasting relationship without trust. In the case of affairs, regaining trust is absolutely possible, but it comes with a price. See if you think it’s worth it.
Extramarital affairs, that most painful of betrayals, can actually be a catalyst for a couple’s re-birth. But it’s a tricky process, and needs to be handled with care. Here are some tips on how to make it work.
We have become a nation of fixers. We want to fix stuff as soon as its broken, including our moods. We don’t have much tolerance for ambiguity, or lack of resolution. Or emotional pain. What’s the problem with that, you might ask? Because often our attempt to “fix” our moods, or our pain, ends up making the problem worse, or more long-lasting. Here’s another way to do it.
We all know about Family Group Psychosis. We just never had a name for it. Check out Dave Keith’s description of that heightened state of (often disguised) insanity that occurs around important holidays–like Christmas–and significant events, like weddings. Here he tells us about a madcap clinical case where Family Group Psychosis led to a woman’s surprising transformation.
There’s a lot of attention focused now on sexual transgressions as a part of the power imbalances between men and women. But what about the subtler, historic, forms of inhibiting […]
The ability and willingness to trust in one’s parter seems to be a precondition for a healthy and stable connection. But lack of trust can be made of many things. You often have to look beneath the surface to uncover what’s behind this potentially corrosive force. It often began before the couple even met.
This is some advice from Adam Grant, professor of management and psychology at the Wharton School of Business. In today’s New York Times, Grant writes about how allowing for healthy […]
Here’s a post from the New York Times about the importance of liberating our fairy tale princesses, in all their complexity and power.
As a culture we are talking a lot lately about the many subtle and not-so-subtle ways men have of sabotaging female power. Here Dave reflects on what this says about the power dynamics between the sexes. Hint: Perhaps it has something to do with (unconscious) male fear of female superiority?
Many couples suffer from ongoing low-level conflict that’s like a low-grade fever. They never feel well, and never get better. Learning to fight can help break the fever and return the couple to health.
Sexual problems in a relationship, including erectile dysfunction, typically reflect a more subtle dysfunction in the underlying dynamic of the couple. Helping the guy to become less cautious with his wife can be a powerful libido-stimulator
Dave Keith reflects on the relationship between the “I”– our Self–and the system of social selves, a community of selves. The social selves are roles that we play. We all have multiple personalities. Personalities are context dependent.The social selves are how we are known. No one knows our core self.