WRITINGS

Healing the Wounds of Failed Parental Attachment, November 22, 2013
Harry Guntrip: The Disowned Self and the Healing Relationship

How parents express their love is crucial to the healthy emotional and personal development of the child. When parents, however well-intended they may be, fail to value the emotional self of the child, when they fail to be attuned to his or her uniqueness and individuality, the child is at risk of entering adulthood as a casualty of failed attachment, that can result in feelings of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and an inability to experience close, satisfying interpersonal relationships. The internationally recognized psychoanalytic psychotherapist, Harry Guntrip, was a victim of failed parental love.
<< more on the disowned self and the healing relationship >>

Can Self-Help Books for Psychological Problems Help You? May 29, 2013
What to Look for in Self-Help Books and How to Use Them Effectively

Not everyone can afford to go to a psychologist, or perhaps you may prefer to first try to help yourself on your own. Research has shown that self-help books can be effective forms of treatment and in some cases may be as effective as professional treatment.
<< more on choosing and using self-help books >>

When Caring Parents Break Their Children’s Hearts, March 24, 2013
Hermann Hesse: Search for the Self

We are all much more than the product of our genes. Even identical twins are not identical. What happens to us in our early life plays a crucial role in shaping who we become. For those of us who are the casualties of failed or inadequate parental love, what was lacking in our early attachment experiences will have a lasting influence on our sense of worth, our comfort with intimacy, and our way of relating to the world. In what follows I will show how the life of Hermann Hesse, the German novelist, was an expression of the love he never felt as a child.
<< more on Hermann Hesse’s search for his lost self >>

Healthy Human Attachment and the Client-Therapist Relationship:

Attunement, Resistance and Ruptures, Spring 2012
BC Psychologist

Human beings have a basic need for closeness and attachment. Strong communities are built on the bedrock of healthy interpersonal bonds. Psychologists, in their role as healers, can help individuals, couples and families rediscover nurturing emotional ties. To be effective healers in working with the emotionally abused and deprived, psychologists need to be sensitively attuned to the needs of their clients, whose repeated experience has been one of not feeling valued and listened to.
<< more on attunement, resistance and ruptures >>

Psychotherapy: Shifting from Technique to Client, Fall 2011
BC Psychologist

In reviewing recent research findings, the Task Force on Evidence-Based Therapy Relationships commissioned by the American Psychological Association, concluded, “The therapy relationship makes substantial and consistent contributions to psychotherapy outcome independent of the specific type of treatment” (Norcross & Wampold, 2011, p. 98). The authors go on to say, “The therapy relationship accounts for why clients improve (or fail to improve) at least as much as the particular treatment method.”
<< more on shifting from technique to client in psychotherapy >>

Psychological Healing, Personal Growth and Mental Agility, November 23, 2011
Being Good to Yourself

Even if your early life was filled with hardship and suffering that took a toll on your sense of self-worth and your ability to relate to others in emotionally satisfying ways, it is never too late to change. Throughout life our experiences continue to have an effect on shaping our brain circuits. Studies have shown that when persons with psychological problems are successfully treated, their brain functioning changes.
<< more on pychological healing and personal growth >>

Stress, Depression, and Physical Health, November 15, 2011
The Health Risks of Chronic Stress

We all experience stress sometimes, but chronic stress can be damaging to the mind and body. So what is stress? If we perceive or appraise an event or circumstance as beyond our ability to cope, we tend to feel “stressed.” What is stressful for one person is not necessarily so for another, since how we react to events depends on our history of previous experiences and our coping abilities.
<< more on health risks of chronic stress >>

Choosing a Psychotherapist and Being in Treatment, September 1, 2011
What to Ask, What to Look for, and What to Expect

Opening up to a total stranger and revealing some of your most intimate thoughts and feelings—things that perhaps you have never told anyone—is not easy for many people. In what follows, I offer some guidance in how to choose a counselor or psychotherapist, and I talk about what you may experience during treatment itself. Knowing what to look for in a treatment provider, and what to expect in treatment, may help you feel better prepared to take that first step in asking for help.
<< more on choosing a psychotherapist >>

Caring Parents who Emotionally Damage their Children, August 11, 2011
Sylvia Plath, Failed Love, and the Lost Self

The notion that caring parents could emotionally damage their children may puzzle some and offend others. If you are a parent yourself, you may well feel a surge of indignation. If caring is wrong for the child, then what next—love? As a parent, you have attended to your children’s needs and fretted about them since the day they were born, and so for someone to suggest that the love, caring and attention you have given them could be harmful is more than perturbing—it’s outrageous.
<< more on failed parental love >>

Couples and Childhood Emotional Wounds, July 19, 2011
What Went Wrong with Your Loving Relationship?

About 4 in 10 marriages end in divorce. On a purely statistical basis, marriage is a risky venture. What leads to this breakdown? How does love turn into anger and hate? There are various factors that can cause marriages to fail, but the emotional baggage we bring from our families of origin is the most common barrier to a satisfying relationship.
<< more on loving relationships gone wrong >>

Treating Psychological Problems with Drugs: Some Thoughts, April 2011
BC Psychologist

In the New York Times article “Talk Doesn’t Pay, So Psychiatry Turns Instead to Drug Therapy,” Gardiner Harris interviews a disenchanted psychiatrist, Dr. Levin, who xpresses frustration and disappointment about the changes forced on the practice of psychiatry by the health insurance industry and managed care. Specifically, he laments loss of job satisfaction and erosion in quality of care as a result of a fee structure that discourages treating clients with talk therapy.
<< more on treating psychological problems with drugs >>