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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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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May 15 / Simcha

7 Verbs . . . Better Loving (E. Perel)

Relationship and sex therapist Esther Perel notes that, much as one must be able to conjugate certain core verbs in order to speak a language, one must similarly practice seven basic relational verbs to sustain a satisfying friendship or relationship.  In the bedroom, practicing these verbs becomes even more significant.

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May 04 / Simcha

Key to Success: Trust Yourself (Diane von Furstenberg)

dianeIn New York Times column Corner Office (05.03.15), Adam Bryant talks with top executives about the challenges of leading and managing.  In an interview with fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, a central theme running through many of her responses is the notion of trusting oneself.

I loved her definition of what it means to be relationship with oneself.  The following are edited selections of her words.

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Feb 17 / Simcha

100-Year-Old Marriage Advice (R.M. Rilke)

rilkeIn 1902, the famous Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke began a letter correspondence with a 19-year-old aspiring poet and military cadet named Franz Kappus who was trying to decide between a literary and a military career.  In his letters, Rilke offers advice on how a poet should feel, love, and seek truth in trying to understand and experience life and art.  In 1929, three years after Rilke’s death, the ten letters were published as Briefe an einen jungen Dichter (Letters to a Young Poet).

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