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

Why Are People Afraid to Grow Up?

In a previous blog, “Living Life as an Authentic Adult,” I briefly described the reasons why so many people operate as children emotionally and refuse to grow up.  I discussed how, to varying degrees, individuals are restricted in their ability to function in an adult mode because of  “unresolved childhood trauma and the defenses they… Read more »

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The Fantasy Bond: A substitute for a truly loving relationship

Defenses formed in childhood hurt adult relationships. Most people have fears of intimacy and are self-protective and at the same time are terrified of being alone. Their solution to their emotional dilemma is to form a fantasy bond. This illusion of connection and closeness allows them to maintain an imagination of love and loving while… Read more »

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Living Life as an Authentic Adult

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ~ e.e. cummings 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… Read more »

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How to Stop Being a Victim

Challenging negative voices is the way to overcome a victimized orientation. Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears. ~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations One of the principle ways that people mismanage their anger is by playing the role of victim. In a previous blog, “Don’t Play the Victim Game,” I described the characteristics… Read more »

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Qualities of an Ideal Therapist

Outcome studies in psychotherapy have shown that “The therapist is a key change ingredient in most successful therapy.” Researchers have also identified a number of traits in psychotherapists that facilitate clients’ progress and change.* In The Fear of Intimacy, I outlined my approach to psychotherapy and described personal qualities in therapists that I consider essential… Read more »

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Dr. Robert Firestone on "What is a Mentally Healthy Person?"

Dr. Robert Firestone describes the qualities of a mentally healthy person: First of all, it depends a lot on their own motivation and their particular goals for themselves.  But in general, the kind of person I would like to see them be is one who had a strong sense of themselves; a person who could… Read more »

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You Don’t Want What You Say You Want

To the extent that people don’t want what they say they want they are duplicitous in their verbal communications. This applies to a wide area of life pursuits but is particularly relevant to love relationships. What we wish for in fantasy is not necessarily tolerable in reality.  Early in life, when we experience rejection and… Read more »

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A New Slant on Vulnerability: Strength Not Weakness

[This blog contains excerpts from an interview with Dr. Robert Firestone by Fred Branfman, political activist and author of Voices from the Plain of Jars] Part I: Fred Branfman: In our culture the idea of being vulnerable is associated with being fearful, anxious, and weak. For example, politicians and business leaders tend to project an… Read more »

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The Death of Psychoanalysis and Depth Psychotherapy

Who Killed It? Several factors have been proposed to explain the gradual demise of psychoanalysis and depth therapy, including the prolonged treatment time inherent in the process, monetary considerations, the time constraints of managed care, and the increased medicalization of psychology. However, I believe that this demise is closely related to an implicit cultural movement… Read more »

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The Human Experience

Human beings are cursed with a conscious awareness of their own mortality. Human beings, unlike other species, are cursed with a conscious awareness of their own mortality. I believe that the tragedy of the human condition is that people’s awareness and true self consciousness concerning this existential issue contributes to an ultimate irony: Human beings… Read more »

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