THE REAL YOU

Dream Interpretation: Wisdom or Waffle?

Dream interpretation has been practiced throughout recorded history, but does it have a place in modern mental health treatment? The earliest recorded dream interpretation dates back to Mesopotamia. In ancient Greece, the sick would sleep among non-venomous snakes in temples honoring Asclepius. In the morning, they would report their dreams to priests, who would then…

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Apartheid and Trump, or Gas Station Confrontation

I recently heard an excellent speaker—an older gay man who dedicated his life to advocating for children in the school system—talk about the importance of compassion in these fraught political times. “I grew up with the people who voted for Trump,” he said. “They are not my enemy. If we see each other as enemies…

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Depression and the Burden of Holiday Preciousness

My family had hamburgers for Thanksgiving. In my case, as a vegetarian, I had a veggie burger. We had decided last year that the efforts of turkeypotatoesrollssomethingforthevegetariancranberrysausecornbreadetc was just too much, given that none of the family likes to stuff themselves, and the work takes days and is then gone in an hour. For Christmas,…

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Should I or Shouldn’t I? Making Difficult Decisions

Ryan* was up at 3am again, dreading her upcoming trip to visit her family with her boyfriend. He understood her better than any other partner she’d had, the sex was good, they lived together well, but she was often disappointed. They had few common interests, he didn’t add much to the conversation when they got…

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Surviving the Season: Dealing with Grief During the Holidays

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? Or are you cringing? The holidays are upon us and along with the shopping, singing carols, and drinking eggnog often come feelings of loneliness and grief. For many people the holiday season is fraught with anxiety, frustration and sadness. I see many in my practice who dread December as…

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How a Therapist Handles Her Inner Critic

When I was a younger adult, I had a scathing inner critic. It caused me all kinds of problems, which I handled in various maladaptive (read self-destructive) ways. That harsh internal voice mostly riddled me with anxiety which was so uncomfortable I looked for different ways to avoid feeling it–like partying, often with people I…

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The Trauma of the Bisexual Experience

We bisexuals are used to receiving messages—explicit and implicit—from the world surrounding us. Some classics? There’s no such thing as bisexuality. You’re just confused and trying to sort things out. You’ll have sex with anyone to get what you want. You have the privilege of getting to “pass.” All of these messages can install damaging…

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Growing Up (Together)’s a Bitch

A couple sat in my office recently, struggling with an issue that was beginning to feel familiar. They were both missing the olden days where they felt more in love and excited about each other, before kids came along and changed everything. Having to learn how to relate to each other anew had been driving…

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Unhappy Holidays

Therapists know the weeks between Mid-November and January 2nd to be one ginormous suck-fest. Pumpkin Spice makes its appearance and we start hearing people’s real holiday feelings: “This is my first holiday since my divorce, I don’t know how I’m going to survive it.” “I look back on this last year and have no idea…

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