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.
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.
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.
An X-ray, or CAT scan, is designed to show what’s invisible to the naked eye. An X-Ray of a couple, in the therapeutic setting, exposes the anatomy of the couple, revealing what’s beneath the surface in the relationship. Sometimes the patient doesn’t like the results.
Surgeon Atul Gawande’s book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, has a lot to say about the unintended consequences of doctors’ failure to acknowledge the dying process. Here’s a case of a young woman whose complicated grief over her mother’s death reflects this failure.
This is a Two-Part Post: Dave: This illustration gives a picture of how the use of a psychiatric diagnosis and treatment with medication can affect a family’s living over a […]
Dave: Just one month after Trish left for college, her mother, Carol Marie, called me. I was surprised because she wanted to be a patient and come in to see […]
Many doctors feel under pressure to prescribe medications to patients with even moderate anxiety or depression. But it doesn’t have to be that way: Here’s a case of a physician with courage and imagination who takes an unexpected path to help her patient.
In this post, Dave shares his clinical story about a young woman with severe depression and her recovery, without the use of medications. It again reminds us about the power of relationship, and the power of creative caring.
In this post, Dave Keith reflects on how he came to understand psychosis as a symbolic expression, embedded in a person’s relationships and experiences. This offers an alternative, dynamic and life-affirming perspective on what is often considered the “destiny” of mental illness.
Anxiety is a common human emotion, one that we all experience at one point or other. Though most of us feel anxiety as a painful feeling that we want to “go away”, our anxiety in fact may be a helping us learn something important about ourselves.
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.