Dr Robert Firestone

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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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The Paradox of Psychological Defenses

Should we contend with painful realities or avoid them? Although psychological defenses offer a degree of comfort and a form of security, they also predispose distortion and maladaptation in adult life. Yet varying degrees of defense formation are a virtual necessity for the developing child. All children experience a certain amount of emotional pain and… Read more »

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The Fantasy Bond or Primary Defense

This is the first in a series of blogs describing my theoretical approach known as Separation Theory. It represents an integration of psychoanalytic and existential systems of thought and describes how early interpersonal pain and separation anxiety and, later, death anxiety, lead to the formation of powerful psychological defenses. The primary defense is the fantasy… Read more »

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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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Separation Theory

[Separation Theory] is integrative even beyond the blending of the psychoanalytic and existential views… It views people as being innately innocent rather than destructive or corrupt, and thereby it rejects Id Psychology in favor of an existential view of humankind. Its ties to existentialism and humanism are in its acceptance of the viability of the emerging “self,”… Read more »

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What Goes On in the Mind of Your Therapist?

As you sit in your therapy session, sifting through your own thoughts, do you ever wonder what your therapist is feeling and thinking? When you open up and disclose so much of yourself to someone it’s impossible not to occasionally be curious about what they are experiencing. My father Robert Firestone recently wrote a book, which offers a… Read more »

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Dr. Robert Firestone’s Interview with PsychAlive

Sign up here to access PsychAlive’s full interview with Dr. Robert Firestone for FREE. Watch Excerpts From Dr. Robert Firestone’s Interview with PsychAlive Read More From Dr. Robert Firestone

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