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LOVE

I have read a lot about love. Both as a psychotherapist, but before that as an artist. I went through the predictable late adolescent stage of reading the great poets, listening to Morrisey, and of course watching my weight in teen romantic comedies - by the way I think Never Been Kissed is still my favorite. Through research, my own experience with love, and all the romantic swoons of my teenage years, I think the greatest sentiment on love comes from Nikki Giovanni. She says, “We  love because it is the only true adventure.” And if that doesn't some up my relationship to this super big, gigantic, like maybe this is really why we are here emotion. So if love...

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GRIEF

I think about grief a lot. I’ve experienced my own personal bouts of deep and life altering grief and have counseled many patients and businesses through grief stricken events and circumstances. The more I experience grief personally and learn about it through my work, I think that maybe grief has everything to do with why we are here. Breathing, living, and of course loving. Grief is not a new topic of discussion in the field of psychology and there are many different theories as to how our bodies process grief, what happens when we experience grief, and when grief combines with trauma and vice versa. It’s big and like most big things, many of us are guilty of running in...

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GUILT

Guilt. It’s big. As one of the building blocks of classic psychoanalytic theory, it is kind of everything. Freud is somewhere offering an energetic high five to Giselle right now. Finally, let’s talk about guilt, he says! A little bit about Freud, as it will be important to get our feet wet on the basics of his theory before we dive into the deep end of the guilt pool. So let’s break it down. Freud had many theories regarding human behavior. The two most well known models are his first regarding consciousness - distinguishing between the unconscious, conscious, and preconscious, and his second - distinguishing between the id, ego, and superego. Freud believed that humans are fundamentally in conflict with...

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HOPE

So much came to mind when I started to think about hope. Hope seems loaded right now and possibly in short supply, but when I retreat to my psychoanalytic frame of thought, I understand that opposing poles hold each other down. Kind of like on a camping tent. You cannot have a move toward the positive without an opposing move toward the negative, and when things seem at their worst, is exactly when the potential for great hope is more open and available than ever. We simply wouldn’t be able to see hope existing on the horizon, without acknowledging despair. Analytic greats like Winnicott and later Stephen Mitchell regarded hope as being essential to the analytic relationship and in an...

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FEAR

We cannot live without fear. Seriously. We wouldn’t last long without our bodies having a major physiological reaction to Michael Myers, Freddie Kruger, and of course Pennywise. The fight or flight reaction pathway that begins in the brain and quickly moves to the body when we experience fear supplies us with the energy and skills to fight for our lives or get the hell out of dodge. The amygdala, the temporal lobe region of the brain most connected to fear, sets forth a set of reactions in response to the emotional salience of our surrounding stimuli, or what stands out to us about our immediate surroundings. The hippocampus and prefrontal cortex interpret the perceived threat as real or not. If...

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