In this post, Dave talks about his work with a depressed young female patient. Through the therapy, which “opens up a little dormant space of weirdness where we can feel more free”, this young woman’s depression lifts as she begins to experience herself in a new way.
These days kids are reflexively and routinely given stimulants like Ritalin if they are designated as having ADHD. Dave Keith offers an alternative perspective: He works with the family relationship patterns in order to treat the child. The side effects are good.
In our current pharmaceutical-based culture, we forget that how we feel, our “moods” are strongly shaped by relationship dynamics. This holds true even for depression. Here’s a case that shows how this works.
Good physicians take a clinical history in the interest of arriving at a diagnosis. While the clinical history is a review of ‘facts’, there are in fact, few ‘facts’ about human experience. Different examiners will get different histories depending upon what they ask about. Different family members give different reports of the same set of events. In my view clinical histories are a form of fiction pretending to be ‘objective’.
It’s common for people to carry childhood wounds from their parents into adulthood. Sometimes they seek individual therapy for these painful issues. See what happens when the parent becomes part of the therapy.
Therapists tend to be good at being kind and patient with difficult people and they know how to put up with their patients’ demanding and outrageous behavior. Too often the demand for good manners persuades therapists to compromise their integrity in the attempt to maintain the relationship and to make their patients feel worthwhile. But compromising integrity interferes with the effectiveness of therapeutic work.
To fight or Not to fight? Sometimes NOT fighting is more of a problem for couples. Chronic conflict-avoidance can show up as extramarital affairs, or behavior problems in kids.
Couples in therapy are often like the Three Bears: The temperature in the relationship is either too hot, too cold–usually not “just right”. Here’s how a couple re-set their Passion Meter.
For Amy and Dave, common psychiatric “disorders” are part of relational patterns, usually embedded in the dynamics of the family. You just have to know how to look.
This Family Medicine hospital consultation involved a mute patient who had just had her leg amputated. The hospital staff was angry at her. Then this young doctor took the time to learn what was going on and everything changed.
When family dysfunction meets disease: How a therapy session transformed family patterns and helped a young woman improve her self-care.
Understanding and changing family relationship patterns can make a huge difference for kids diagnosed with ADHD.
How Mental Distress Can Masquerade as Disease: Here’s a live case story which shows how grief can manifest as abdominal pain.
Here’s the Grand Finale of a difficult, satisfying family therapy case. I think we all, patients and therapist, learned a lot.
In this installment of Case of The Mean Dad, the parents finally reintroduce their kids into the therapy sessions. Sometimes, indeed, children are the best therapists!
The “Mean Dad” series continues. (First post can be found on 12/4/16). In this session, the Mean Dad reveals the emptiness he feels in his marriage. This comes as a surprise to his wife.