Robert Firestone, Ph.D

Robert Firestone, Ph.D
Robert W. Firestone, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, author, theorist and artist. He is the Consulting Theorist for The Glendon Association. He is author of numerous books including Voice Therapy, The Fantasy Bond, Compassionate Child-Rearing, Fear of Intimacy, Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice, Beyond Death Anxiety The Ethics of Interpersonal RelationshipsSelf Under Siege, and recently his collection of stories Overcoming the Destructive Inner Voice.  His studies on negative thought processes and their associated affect have led to the development of Voice Therapy, an advanced therapeutic methodology to uncover and contend with aspects of self-destructive and self-limiting behaviors. Firestone has applied his concepts to empirical research and to developing the Firestone Assessment of Self-destructive Thoughts (FAST), a scale that assesses suicide potential. This work led to the publication of Suicide and the Inner Voice: Risk Assessment, Treatment and Case Management. He has published more than 30 professional articles and chapters for edited volumes, and produced 35 video documentaries. His art can be viewed on www.theartofrwfirestone.com. You can learn more about Dr. Firestone by visiting www.drrobertwfirestone.com.

Blogs by Robert Firestone, Ph.D

An Overview of Separation Theory

Separation Theory integrates psychoanalytic and existential systems of thought by showing how early interpersonal pain, and separation anxiety and later death anxiety lead to the development of powerful psychological defenses. These defenses attempt to cope with and minimize painful experiences and emotions suffered in one’s developmental years but later predispose limitations and maladaptation in adult… Read more »

Learn More

Insight into the Violent Mind

Both glamorizing and demonizing violence help us avoid having to understand the violent mind. We should enter the violent person’s subjective world, not just in order to be able to offer treatment, but also to anticipate the nature of the risks they embody both to themselves and to society. ~ Peter Fonagy, “Towards a Developmental… Read more »

Learn More

The Inner Voice in Self-Destructive Behavior and Suicide

Suicide is a tragic ending to life that, in many cases, can be averted. It constitutes a public health problem of considerable magnitude in the United States, occurring at nearly twice the rate as that of homicide.  From 1999 to 2016, suicide rates have steadily risen in nearly every state in the union. Understanding this seemingly perverse anti-life behavior… Read more »

Learn More

6 Major Influences that Stop You from Becoming Your True Self

To be nobody but yourself in a world that is doing its best, day and night, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~ e.e. cummings Each individual faces a struggle against powerful odds to retain a unique selfhood and personal… Read more »

Learn More

Voice Therapy

In my last blog, I described the “voice” as a series of negative thoughts and attitudes toward self and others, which are at the core of a person’s self-destructive ideology and behavior. As such, the voice can be conceived of as the internal enemy or anti-self aspect of the personality. My approach to psychotherapy is… Read more »

Learn More

Factors that Increase or Suppress Death Anxiety

Death anxiety encompasses a broad spectrum of emotions ranging from a few passing moments of fear to a complete state of panic. In either case, the experience is painful on a feeling level or, at its worst, terrifying. For this reason, most people find a way to obliterate images of death’s finality from their conscious… Read more »

Learn More

Societal Defenses Against Death Anxiety

Faced with the painful awareness of death’s finality, individuals try to recreate a parent or parents in other people, groups, or institutions, or they search for a personal savior on earth or in the heavens. Just as the imagined merger with one’s family once provided its members with an illusion of immortality, group identification offers… Read more »

Learn More

Death Anxiety

Although largely unconscious, the awareness of our finite existence, the fact that we all must die, has a profound impact on our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. The fear and emotional anguish associated with anticipating the end of life are so painful that we must protect ourselves. People find it difficult to tolerate facing their mortality… Read more »

Learn More

Human Rights Violations in Personal Relationships

When protection of the state or political system takes precedence over the individual, the needs of most citizens are not served; instead they generally suffer economically, politically, and personally. Similarly, when the couple or family system takes precedence over its members, issues of human rights become a low priority. Both conditions set the stage for… Read more »

Learn More

The Fantasy Bond in Couple Relationships

By the time they reach adulthood, most people have solidified their defenses and exist in a psychological equilibrium that they do not wish to disturb. Although they may be relatively congenial with more casual acquaintances, over time there is typically a noticeable deterioration in the quality of relating within their most intimate relationships. As a… Read more »

Learn More