About 200 articles are posted here, revealing the source of the most common behavioral and emotional problems. I am taking my summer break from writing, while still doing sessions and taking on new clients. Thank you all for your interest in this depth psychology.
I’m delighted to say that all of my books are now available in paperback. Each book has also been updated as a Second Edition. All books are now available in both Kindle e-book and paperback formats at Amazon.com. They are all listed above in Books, with their links to Amazon.
These principles are boiled down to about 400 words, so it only takes a few minutes to slowly read the content. But a person could take a lifetime assimilating the knowledge behind the words.
What are the benefits of doing this every day? We’ve got remarkably thick skulls when it comes to learning depth psychology. Our instinct is to reject self-knowledge: it’s so unsettling to the inner status quo. It changes our sense of who we are, and we’re afraid to lose that old familiar sense of self, even when the old self is infused with pain. By facing inner truth each day in the form of a two-minute inner workout, we can overpower our resistance.
So read slowly and ponder the significance of this knowledge. The real trick is to begin to understand how this knowledge applies directly to you. The intent is to turn the knowledge into self-knowledge, which in turn helps us to overcome many forms of misery and self-defeat.
These seven principles don’t mess around—they zero in on what gets us into emotional trouble. They identify the processes through which our negative emotions are most easily aroused. Becoming stronger emotionally is a process of recognizing and overcoming our deeper negativity. We learn how we have unwittingly been producing and holding on to various forms of suffering. [Read more…]
Both the perpetrator and the victim are involved in agonizing behaviors that mirror inner conflict in the psyches of them both. What drives the perpetrators, usually men, to be so cruel and brutal, and why do so many women remain in these abusive situations? What do we need to understand that’s common to the various forms—physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and economic—of intimate partner abuse?
Most articles on the subject seem to consider the intimate psychology of warring couples as a forbidden topic. One article, a research review published earlier this month by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University, discusses this problem of domestic abuse and the empowerment of women exclusively in terms of their levels of income, financial stability, and educational achievement—yet even that discussion is framed mostly in statistical terms.
While the problem is complicated, a deeper look at psychological dynamics turns up important facts. An abusive relationship puts on display two of the primary elements in the human psyche—aggression and passivity. A couple that’s trapped in a cycle of abuse is acting out the inner conflict that each experiences in his or her psyche. This conflict is between self-aggression, as administered by the inner critic, and inner defensiveness and self-doubt, as experienced through inner passivity. [Read more…]
We’re often the dupes of our defenses which render us blind to our emotional life and mislead us about the sources of our suffering. For starters, we don’t see that common varieties of suffering are both symptoms of mysterious dynamics unfolding in our psyche as well as defenses covering up our participation in our suffering.
To understand this, take a look at the following painful experiences (List 1) and see if you can tell what they have in common:
Anger and rage; sadness, grief, depression; worry, anxiety, guilt, and fear; envy, jealousy, and loneliness; resentment, humiliation, and shame.
These painful experiences are all symptoms and defenses of deeper dynamics in our psyche. Our ability to avoid these unpleasant states is hampered when we fail to understand the deeper processes that instigate these forms of suffering.
What are we defending against? Deeper down, we remain entangled in unresolved negative emotions first experienced in childhood. Through psychological defenses, we cover up our willingness to remain entwined in these painful emotions. The emotions (List 2) include the sense of being:
Deprived, refused; helpless, controlled, and dominated; criticized, rejected, and abandoned; unloved, seen as unworthy. [Read more…]
A client of mine, Jill, complained that she was feeling disrespected by her husband, Jack. Indeed, he often mocked her and spoke to her sarcastically. He also had difficulty expressing his affection and appreciation for her. He had been raised in a family whose members had been notoriously disrespectful to one another.
To improve their marriage, Jack has to do his part to become a more considerate person. But Jill has an issue here, as well. She could easily feel disrespected. She too had been raised in a family where the parents had been lacking in their respect for their children. In addition, her siblings had often been mean and mocking toward one another.
There would be no point in either of them blaming parents or siblings for their current difficulties. With insight, Jack and Jill can live happily together. [Read more…]
I offer my sympathies to those among you who are in distress—emotionally and financially—over the economic and political crises plaguing America and the world. The problems may last for many more years, and people can help themselves considerably by staying emotionally strong.
For starters, that means believing in yourself and your value. That will help you avoid negative reactions such as bitterness and depression. We live in turbulent times, yet the challenges can make us stronger than ever.
Our psyche operates in a way that makes it tempting for us to recycle negative emotions. In the present crisis, it’s very easy for us to feel deprived, helpless, and abandoned. The teaching offered at this website makes us more perceptive and insightful, which helps us to avoid this woe-is-me trap.
The economic and political crises challenge us at our weakest emotional points. If we’re strong emotionally, we can ride these turbulent times the way a surfer rides a wave. The ride is still difficult, the wave unpredictable, and we can fall and get banged up. If we’re strong, we get right back on our surfboard and keep going.
However, if we’re weak emotionally we won’t be able to ride the wave. We will suffer both for our weakness and for the additional hardships that our weakness brings on. We want to understand our emotional weaknesses so we can overcome them.
My books and psychotherapy expose the exact inner workings of hidden aspects of our psyche that produce fear, passivity, and self-defeat. With deeper awareness, we acquire the power to process our experiences more objectively and more harmoniously.