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 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.
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.
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.
Dave continues his meditation on the tensions and play between our multiple “selves”; the social, fantasy and core parts of our being–and what this means for our relationship with others.
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 […]
Our current cultural model for conditions like anxiety and depression uses language like “chemical imbalance”, implying that suffering is related to our brain chemistry. In this post, Dave Keith offers another perspective that looks at our moods as dynamic states related to the context of our living patterns.
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.
“Chemical Imbalance” has become a generally accepted way to think about psychological conditions like depression and anxiety. But David Keith offers another perspective: In fact, emotional problems may be a sign of mental health.
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.
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’.
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.