Working Through the Van Dyke -McDonald Tragedy

They say that seeing is believing. Then again, sometimes you don’t want to believe what you are seeing. Here’s an example: the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. Despite initial efforts to keep this out of sight, we, collectively, brought it out of the shadows and dealt with it in the way that citizenship requires, through... Read more »

On Being Humiliated

Among the lessons to be learned from the Senate hearings on Judge Kavanaugh, one that should not be missed is the psychological power of humiliation. It wasn’t the sexual assault or the fear for her life that made the strongest impression on Dr. Blasey- Ford. It was the humiliating experience of hearing Kavanaugh and his... Read more »

An Op-Ed About Forgetting

A few weeks ago my colleague Wendy Selene and I collaborated on a piece we hoped to get published as an op-ed in one of our local papers.  Since we haven’t received any word from them,  I’m putting it out here, before it’s forgotten.   THE PRICE OF FORGETTING As psychoanalysts and mental health providers,... Read more »
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On Complacency, Complicity and Moral Courage

In the wake of  what I’ve called the Trumpsformation that began on inauguration day last year,  one of my biggest fears was that my shock/rage/despair would turn into complacency. I worried that I would become a passive accomplice in maintaining a malignant status quo, one of those singled out in the quote often attributed to Dante... Read more »

A Holiday Wish for America

This holiday season, my wish is that we, the people of the United States of America be given the gift of reflection, so we can admit that in our quest to be the land of the free we’ve made some big mistakes. Of course everyone makes mistakes- it’s the inevitable consequence of action. But the... Read more »

Trump Uncorked is No Laughing Matter

In 1905, Sigmund Freud wrote a book called “Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious” in which he made the case that humor was often a vehicle to express untellable truths. I thought of that when Senator Bob Corker tweeted that the White House is like an adult day care center with no one on... Read more »
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White Whale

I finally understand Moby Dick. After viewing a terrific dramatization of Melville’s famous tale of a whale (courtesy of Chicago’s “Looking Glass Theater“) I came away with the idea that all the bad stuff in Captain Ahab was projected onto his nemesis, Moby, and that he was willing to sacrifice his ship and crew in... Read more »

The Things We Care About

Why do we care about the things we care about? Why do some of us care passionately about climate change while others care deeply about the right to bear arms, for example? I wanted to write a blog on the topic. So I put “Write Blog” on my “To-Do List.” My “To-Do” List is something... Read more »

Lying is Bad for America's Health

Now that the issue of national health care is once more front and center, I’d like to call attention to a recent outbreak that has the potential of becoming a devastating epidemic. I’m speaking as a physician, psychiatrist, and psychoanalyst, and what I’m speaking about is lying. In over 30 years treating patients I have... Read more »
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An American Tragedy

Lately I’ve been involved in some discussions with psychiatric colleagues about whether or not the President is crazy and ,whether we as mental health professionals can, should, must, or should never speak out about it. The conflicting and strongly held views relate to our problem agreeing on what “crazy” means, our concerns over legal liability,... Read more »