Nov 13 / Simcha

Your Child Owes No One a Hug

A thought I want to share as the holidays approach: Your child owes no one a hug.  

Insisting a child kiss or hug a relative or family friend Hello or Goodbye when s/he does want to, invalidates your child’s feelings by suggesting that external pressures (and Aunty’s feelings) are more important than his/hers.  And it teaches them that consent can be manipulated, by cajoling or worse.

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Nov 13 / Simcha

Being Wrong (K. Schulz)

So many of the struggles of the couples I work with revolve around one or the other’s need to always be right, to hold on tight to ideas, beliefs or perceptions as if their lives depend upon it.  

While possibly protecting us from our own self-doubt and uncertainty, this need to always be right “calcifies” our ability to listen well, to be flexible and open-minded, and makes us a lot less fun to be around to boot….  And by regularly dismissing our partner’s ideas and feelings, we are also inadvertently poisoning our relationship.  

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Oct 16 / Simcha

Daughters of Unloving Mothers (P. Streep)

A mother who is emotionally distant, withholding, inconsistent, or even hypercritical or cruel, inflicts multiple wounds on her daughter, writes Peg Streep in her article in Psychology Today.

Author of the Daughter Detox: Recovering from an Unloving Mother and Reclaiming Your Life, and Mean Mothers: Overcoming the Legacy of Hurt, Streeps writes not as a therapist or psychologist, but “as a fellow traveller.”

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Jul 17 / Simcha

The Porcupine Dilemma

Click on the image to view porcupine on Freud’s desk in his London study in what is now the Freud Museum

Some years back, I visited the Freud Museum in London, once the final home of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, and his daughter Anna Freud, a pioneering child psychoanalyst. (The Freud family had come to England as refugees, following the Nazi annexation of Austria in March 1938.)

On Freud’s desk in his study stood a metal figure of a porcupine with quills, a figure he apparently kept there all the time.  Why a porcupine?

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May 09 / Simcha

Male Postpartum Depression (Rosen & Kelly)

A growing number of young men are struggling with depression around the time of the birth of their first child. Many first-time dads would rather stifle their feelings than talk about them, making the home situation more heated and fraught, and their sense of helplessness exacerbated.

With no socially acceptable forum where they might share and explore some of these feelings, male postpartum depression is easily eclipsed by its maternal counterpart, and often missed altogether.  The following is abridged and edited from an article that appeared in Parents Magazine.

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Apr 30 / Simcha

Young Men and Pornography

America is a rather prudish society, with sex still largely closeted, and sex education absent, limited or whitewashed.  And yet, with many kids having free and unsupervised access to the internet, the average age for watching pornography online is getting younger and younger.

A steady rise in the number of young men experiencing erectile dysfunction has spurred a series of research studies about how frequent exposure to porn from a young age may be affecting their psychosexual development; a body of opinion is emerging linking such exposure to this steady rise in ED.

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