Category Archives: Psychotherapy

Defining “The Self”

A couple of days ago, off duty and minding my own business, I was asked a really good question, “as a psychologist”. Luckily, I had the foresight to ask for a little time to think about the answer.   The question: How would I describe a “self”?   The answer came, as answers sometimes do, in a dream. This one woke me up this morning, before dawn. I sat down at the computer and wrote out a fairly passable answer. This is what I came up with:   1)         Generally, each of us struggles with a limited number of “front burner” issues. Cognitive psychologists put the number at 8: plus […]

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On Learning the Conditions for Learning

A great “Aha!” in the history of psychotherapy came with the recognition  that the “lifting” or resolution of emotional disturbance did not mean a necessary turn toward emotional well-being. The effect of the original disturbance had blocked learning. If well-being was to be achieved, productive and healthy experiential learning was essential. Since that time, the expanding range of “learning how” has been the cross-disciplinary problem before us all. The first step is a receptivity to learning. Here again, the therapeutic example is instructive. The necessary effort for the suffering individual to manage emotional disturbance  required the building of a rigid system for coping. But the system itself prevented  real learning […]

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