Last week, I wrote about The Red Lady’s journey into the long dark night of the soul on the first episode of the new season of Game of Thrones. To recap briefly, shit was looking a touch grim for her. She was receiving all the signs of being completely abandoned by everything she believed in – Stannis and his armies were dead, and all the promises her faith had made to her were turning out to be false. Also, she turned out to be exceptionally old. There’s a therapeutic term for this,groundlessness, and it basically means that everything you thought you could rely on was suddenly shown to be transient and useless. People often find themselves feeling groundless after a major loss – the death of a loved one, getting fired from a job, not being allowed into the Magic Castle in LA, that kind of thingRead 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.
The past year, and especially the past several months as the marketing campaign got started, spent waiting for season 6 of Game of Thrones have been marked by a certain ambivalence for me. Were all these people that I only sort-of knew dead or alive? Even trying to avoid spoilers, I knew that Jon Snow was still showing up to set, and my friends had been very quick to correct me when I said I was surprised they killed off Sansa and Reek at the end of season 5. Ultimately, I knew that I would watch the show – I loved it for a long time before I started to feel a little lukewarm, and if I could watch all 7 seasons of LOST on the strength of season 1 alone, I could probably turn out for ten more episodes of what is honestly still a very good showRead More
My plan this week was to watch the first four or so episodes of season two of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and then write something up about it. Well, it’s just about midnight Thursday and I seem to just be getting started with it. Which is a little confusing for me; I really didn’t think I’d have any trouble coming up with some kind of therapeutically-oriented topic for a show that focuses on a survivor of extreme, chronic trauma who suffers from PTSD. Moreover, I heard that Tina Fey plays a therapist who not only has a serious drinking problem but also can’t hold ethical boundaries with her clients. I assumed this would be beyond easy, but something about this season just doesn’t make sense to me.Read More
Christ, can you imagine anything worse than joining a cult and still having to be responsible to your cell phone? Hulu’s new series The Path poses this very nightmare scenario right up front and, as goofy as it may seem, this is really a big clue as to what’s going on in this show. I’m a little too old, thankfully, to have been deeply affected by this sort of thing, but I remember towards the end of my time living at home that my dad started bringing his Blackberry on our yearly pilgrimage to Ocean City, Maryland. And while I was unhappily, teenageily disassociated anytime I had to be around my family and girls in bikinis at the same time, I remember the look of total anguish on his face every time he had to answer a work email with sand in his bathing suit. As people love to say, technology has served to make us more connected than ever. Which is great for productivity, but makes it a lot harder to live a fantasy life.Read More
Endings, particularly abrupt ones, are one of those rare moments in life when we get to find out how we really feel. This is one of those bittersweet ironies that existentialists build whole careers out of, and that we therapists love to pithily remind our clients of while cocking an eyebrow. In my case, I imagine that the forthcoming series finale of HBO’s Togetherness will confirm that I love this show and that, for all my practiced jadedness, I still believe that love conquers all. I suppose I’ll have to wait and see. Because the thing about endings is, they’re intense. And not in a camping way, but in a psychological way. They’re the last opportunity to take something in, which often means they’re the first of these opportunities to be taken, because seeing things clearly means coming to terms with the fact that they will end.Read More