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.
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.
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.