All in the Name of Shame…

Funny how you can learn something about the mind many times with no change in behavior. Then, one day, you hear the same notion again, and the psyche transforms. Decades ago I watched videos of John Bradshaw talking about shame. … Continue reading

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Suicide: A Symptom of Global Spiritual Malaise?

Recently my cousin wrote a brave letter to her local newspaper in response to two suicides that affected her children. Her message picked up a lot of attention because it addresses mental health issues with great open-heartedness and honesty. I felt … Continue reading

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Healing after Trauma: Ten Steps Forward, Nine Steps Back

Most of us have suffered psychological wounds. Just as the body can be damaged, so can the mind. But the similarity ends there, because mental and physical injuries heal by different means. At another time I’ll explore physical healing in … Continue reading

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4 Tips for Improving Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem, which is just another term for shame, is very common in our culture. It especially afflicts those who grew up abused, neglected, or bereaved. Here are some simple tips for building confidence. 1. Be Fair Everyone suffers from … Continue reading

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5 Tips for Healing after Childhood Adversity

1. Reframe Vulnerabilities Those of us who experienced abuse, grief, or neglect during childhood feel different from those who didn’t. We are more easily hurt, which leads to withdrawal or rage. We feel less confident in ourselves, which leads to … Continue reading

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Success is an Inside Job

One of the things I find delightful about writing is the way it helps me shape my views. In a recent email exchange with my friend, Larry Berkelhammer, PhD, I began by offering advice but ended up changing my opinion. … Continue reading

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Gonna make you, make you, make you notice…

Earlier this year I watched two swallows feeding their chicks. When mom or dad returned to the nest, the hatchlings jostled for attention, pushing each other aside, their bright yellow throats agape. Sometimes I think we humans are no different … Continue reading

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Unproductive, and Proud of It

As the days shorten, I’ve been working to keep my head above water. Although my spirits often feel liberated and expansive, the state of mind is unstable. My psyche is over-ballasted, and foundering comes easily. It doesn’t help to live … Continue reading

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Doubt Is Healthier for the Mind than Faith

This post’s title may sound like a call to skepticism, but it’s not. In my experience, skepticism gets exercised when I critique someone else’s beliefs, but seldom when I consider my own. Doubt, on the other hand, is indiscriminate; I’m … Continue reading

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An Atlas of Angst

Continuing the theme of societal expectations and my failure to satisfy them, I write today from a more detached perspective. At the moment, it doesn’t seem to me like everything ‘they’ tell us is wrong, but I do believe society … Continue reading

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