Disaster’s Aftermath

The recent hurricane that hit New Jersey and New York reminded us of the research on the aftermath of disaster conducted by a friend and colleague, Kent Harber, PhD. Kent has been very interested in posttraumatic stress disorder, and in particular, the work of Dr. James Pennebaker, on the value of sharing one’s story in the aftermath of trauma. Jim …

Therapists Can Be So Annoying: Feeling Like You’re On Celebrity Roast

Therapists Have you ever found yourself all of a sudden the guest of honor at celebrity roast special. Sometimes that is what it is like being a therapist…. or husband… or wife… employee… boss…. or you name it… What do you do? You probably know that being defensive is not going to work. But how can you sit there and listen …

Chronic Anger Kills

Anger is a necessary emotion. It can motivate to change things for the better, to protect ourselves from evil, to re-shape our lives in better and more satisfying ways. But chronic anger, especially chronic anger about things that can’t be changed because they are in the distant past, is a life-destroying emotion. Occasionally we meet with people who are out …

The Heart of Evil

We have had the experience of feeling that we were in the presence of evil. A sense of foreboding, a shiver that involuntarily runs down the spine. An awareness that our expectations of rational behavior in others may be misplaced. As we have experienced it evil may be clever, but it is not creative. At its heart lies fear. Fear …

Self Compassion

I once worked with a lovely woman who had a personal assistant who yelled at her all day.  She hurled insult after insult, screaming loudly in her ear things like—You’ll never get that done! There you go again, you idiot! Give it up, you’re never going to amount to anything! This is pointless, you may as well throw in the towel! …

Impossible Jobs

In this world, there are two kinds of jobs: Jobs that one could perhaps do adequately, and jobs that are impossible.  For whatever reason, a lot of folks’ we know tend to prefer impossible jobs.  Maybe because they’re more exciting and interesting. The key to an impossible job is recognizing that no person could do all the work that falls …

Cynical Hostility: Chill Out, Live Longer

Cynical hostility is a personality style of cynicism and mistrust in social relationships. In a recent study, researchers from France and University College London looked at data from a long-term study of 3,399 British civil servants. Those in the top 25% of cynical hostility levels were over four-and-a-half times more likely to be become depressed 20 years later in the …