defenses

You Don’t Really Want to Get Better

Of course psychotherapy clients want relief from their symptoms, depression, anxiety, and other painful emotions. But at the same time, they don’t want to change the fundamental defenses that would then allow them to develop and overcome their psychological maladies. Most people fear a basic change in their identity, be it positive or negative. From an early age, children form a powerful bond… Read more »

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A Psychological Perspective on Human Destructiveness

My inspiration for writing this blog springs from a deep feeling for people and a grave concern that without a proper understanding of the reasons for their inhumanity in relation to one another and the development of a compassionate world view, it is likely that human beings will eventually destroy themselves and life on the planet. Despite… Read more »

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Changing Your Sense of Identity

Recently, I wrote about “Living with an Accidental Identity.” I described how painful early experiences, definitions, and defenses affect the way individuals perceive and present themselves throughout their lives, leading them to develop an “accidental identity,” rather than a true sense of who they are. Understanding this process can lead people to question their negative identity and make… Read more »

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Are You Giving Up on Love?

It’s hard to really wrap our heads around this. Yet, I find—over and over again—that it’s true. Love doesn’t always just slip away; we push it away… actively. This may sound accusatory and dooming, but to my mind, it is one of the most optimistic realities about relationships. To the degree that we ourselves control… Read more »

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The Simple Truth about Anger

Feeling angry is a universal human phenomenon. It is as basic as feeling hungry, lonely, loving, or tired. -Theodore Rubin “A thought murder a day keeps the doctor away.”  What this quote emphasizes is that feeling one’s angry thoughts is a healthy manifestation, whereas the denial or suppression of angry feelings has a pathological effect…. Read more »

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VIDEO: Dr. Kirk Schneider – The Transformative Power of Awe

Watch an excerpt from PsychAlive’s exclusive interview with Dr. Kirk Schneider. Dr. Kirk Schneider talks about how awe and how it can transform people. LF: I was really struck when I was at that conference with you and people were saying their experiences of awe, how many of them touched on death or painful issues,… Read more »

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VIDEO: Dr. James Garbarino Talks about Resilience, Hardiness, and Compassion Toward the Human Experience

Watch an excerpt from PsychAlive’s exclusive interview with Dr. James Garbarino. Dr. James Garbarino talks about how hardiness impacts an individual’s resilience. Well, I think, as I see it, there is resilience, which is a sort of description of a situation that a person has faced adversity and has been able to recover from it. … Read more »

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The Search for My Parents

By Anonymous PsychAlive Member I’m 41 years old and I recently learned that I’ve lived my adult years searching for my parents. Not the obvious ones I was born to, but their replacements. My subconscious desire to have parents in my adult life has caused me years of discontent. The life of a child is… Read more »

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7 Steps to Living the Life You Imagined

A person’s life is too often a repetition or reenactment of the past. Becoming your true self is a process that lasts throughout a lifetime. Our personalities are not set in stone by the time we drive off to college or even the day we head to retirement. It is always possible for a person… Read more »

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Withholding: A Personal Story

To Withhold Verb: 1.  Refuse to give (something that is due to or desired by another)            2.  Suppress or hold back (an emotion or reaction)   Are you sometimes aware of holding yourself back from being fully engaged in the experience of the moment?  Do you find yourself avoiding activities that bring you pleasure… Read more »

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