Netflix’s newest gem, Stranger Things, builds its world out of lost pieces of nostalgia for a time that probably never quite existed, but it does so in a way that shows it understands the power of the little things. One of my favorite recurring easter eggs is how frequently Stephen King’s books turn up at pivotal moments of plot development, and not just because I like seeing the creators of such a superb show acknowledge their own influences. No, the reason Stephen King’s presence stands out to me so strongly in this show is because he so keenly understand how to write magical children (and magical black people, but that’s a different matter). In King’s most terrifying and moving books, he places children at the axis of power and helplessness, and Stranger Things follows in kind.Read More
In addition to my work as a psychotherapist, I am also a published writer. Most of what I write pertains to the fields of psychology and therapy, and when it does I include it here. Writing is one of the most popular ways to pursue the work of therapy on your home, offering us a glimpse into our deep psyches when we spontaneously create. I hope that some of these articles may prove useful to my clients.
We all have dreams about what we want to be when we grow up, but so few of us ever end up pursuing them. Which sounds more sad than it is – in Hindu cosmology, the Human realm of existence is distinguished solely by the opportunity to continue to make choices and adapt. But it does make you wonder why it’s so hard to follow those dreams. The Ghostbusters series of films has always focused on this conundrum, with the first two focusing on the issues of red tape and overregulation that get in the way of starting a business and this new one focusing on questions that are more personal, internalized, and historic. Which is all too appropriate for a film about busting ghosts.Read More
I don’t think I’ve ever had an easier time picking a topic than I have this week, because my life has turned into an adorable ripoff of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and it’s feeding on the rays. What I mean is: holy fucking shit, Pokemon Go! Have you ever seen anything like this? People unabashedly playing video games in public? It’s a phenomenon even if you’re not playing; Pokemon Go has been in our lives for about a week now and has already disrupted everything we hold dear, from giving indoor kids a reason to be tan and fit to making the Holocaust museum a place you would ever voluntarily enterRead More
The last time I wrote about AMC’s Preacher, it was because I was so struck by how completely it displayed the power of the Shadow. A small town redolent in secrets and violence, local power concentrated around local symbols, people unable to leave no matter how much distance they put between themselves and Annville’s Google Maps thumbtack; the first few episodes of the show were practically a textbook in Jungian analysis. But therapy is different than analysis, and I knew I would be remiss in my ethical duties if I didn’t return to Annville to see what Preacher was able to do with such a fine set-up. I’m glad to say that in the few episodes since, the show does not disappoint.Read More
I run a lot of DUI groups. As a therapist, I specialize in working with substance and behavioral addictions, and a lot of clients end up mandated by the court to a year or more of group therapy on account of drunk driving. And while it’s expensive, uncomfortable, and time consuming, believe me: the year of forced therapy is the least of their problems. Catching a DUI is a bad scene. The whole situation has always struck me as incredibly odd; people who suffer from addictive behavior patterns tend to be very thoughtful and intelligent, as well as a little behind on distress tolerance. As a result, the question I probably ask my groups more than any other is how did such smart people end up making such stupid decisionsRead More