Oct 30 / Simcha

Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From (T. Selasi)

When someone asks you where you are from … do you sometimes not know how to answer? Writer Taiye Selasi speaks on behalf of “multi-local” people, who feel at home in the town where they grew up, the city they live now and maybe another place or two. “How can I come from a country?” she asks. “How can a human being come from a concept?”

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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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Jun 04 / Simcha

Reshape your Story, Reshape your Relationship (M. Kauppi)

Many of us have had the experience of saying something we thought was innocuous, only to have a friend or partner interpret it as a veiled accusation or an attempted guilt-trip. Or the reverse — an innocent comment by the other is perceived as a slight or criticism. Each party experiences and interprets the same situation in very different ways.

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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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Feb 19 / Simcha

Why We Misunderstand (N. Epley)

Why is it so hard to understand our partners?  Why do they continue to astound us with their feelings, reactions and desires, even decades down the road?  Why is understanding so elusive?

In his 2014 book Mindwise, writer, scientist and (University of Chicago) behavioral psychologist Nicholas Epley explores the ways in which we routinely make inferences about what others think, believe, feel, or want, and in so doing, routinely misunderstand them.

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Dec 09 / Simcha

The Velveteen Rabbit on Everything

It has been said that a good artistic or literary creation is one that can be enjoyed differently at various stages of life.  Recall a book you read or a movie you watched as a child, and consider how richly different the experience was when you repeated it as an adult.

Yesterday I sat down to read the beloved children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real), in preparation for an outing to Seattle’s Children’s Theatre with my six-year-old grandchildren.  Written by Margery Williams and first published in 1922, the book chronicles the story of a stuffed rabbit’s desire to become real through the love of his owner. 

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Dec 04 / Simcha

Guidelines for Divorcing Parents of Children

The intense emotional impact of divorce often leaves parents filled with anger, hurt and the fear of losing connection with one’s children; in the battle that ensues, the children can become the pawns, suffering trauma that is greater than the breakup itself.

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