What are the psychodynamics behind extremism, absolutism and all insidious forms of polarization? On some level, the answers all relate to human beings’ inherent fear of death and their need for psychological defenses to deny or ease the endemic pain of the human condition.
In my observation of families, I have noted countless examples of well-meaning parents engaging in behavior that is insensitive, mis-attuned, or harmful to their children, while earnestly believing that they love them and have their best interests at heart. There are several reasons why it’s often difficult for parents to love their children.
Suppressing angry feelings inevitably has destructive consequences. I postulate four major ill effects of bypassing the feeling of angry emotions. They are (1) developing psychosomatic symptoms; (2) turning the anger against oneself; (3) projecting anger outward onto others; and (4) acting out hostile, negative behaviors.
Many developmental issues affect women’s sexuality. In this blog, we focus on seven psychological factors that tend to negatively impact a woman’s sexual desire, arousal and orgasmic capacity. Understanding these issues is useful in helping women achieve richer, more satisfying sexual lives.
Love — kindness, affection, sensitive attunement, respect, companionship — is not only difficult to find, but is even more challenging for many people to accept and tolerate. But why do love, positive acknowledgment and compliments arouse such animosity? There are a number of primary causes of this phenomenon.
You can address the problem of being an adult by recognizing and challenging defenses and altering childish behavior patterns. Learn how to become alert to situations and personal interactions that trigger your fear of growing up and take control over negative actions that relieve or quiet the fear.
What are the the principal barriers to living an adult existence? In this blog, I explore the psychodynamics underlying the tendency to hold onto a child’s perspective despite the emotional turmoil, maladaptation, and unhappiness it creates.
Most people are unaware that they are conducting their lives more from a child’s frame of reference than in an adult mode. Although men and women mature physically and become more capable in their practical lives, rarely do they achieve emotional maturity.
Instead of playing the role of expert, the ideal therapist would strive to be an authentic person.He or she would serve as a role model for the client, demonstrating through his or her responses and behavior, how to struggle against destructive forces within the personality and how to live less defensively.
The truth is that love, by any operational definition of the word, is not only hard to come by, but it is even more difficult to accept and tolerate. Accepting love and getting close to someone else threatens our defenses and conflicts with any negative points of identity that we formed in our families.
The very defenses that once protected us as children and were appropriate to our survival emotionally can limit our life experience as adults. Being vulnerable means freeing yourself of these defenses to live it as fully as possible, to experience all of your emotions, all your perceptions, all your thoughts, all your ideas.
Researchers have observed that people tend to commit the most egregious human rights violations in their closest, most intimate associations. We are guilty of such violations when someone's love challenges our negative self-concept, and, in our desperation to defend ourselves, we disrespect their feelings and use means that are hurtful to push them away.
To varying degrees people block out important feelings and emotions, and in so doing, deviate from their true destiny. How is it that so many people spend their lives denying themselves such simple basic gratification? And why, when they are facing death, do they finally have the clarity to know what’s important to them?