Trail Mix

Quick Energy for Your Journey Through Life

A Laundry List of Things I’ve Tried

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
Thomas Edison

This represents a laundry list of most of the things (as my memory serves) that one person (me) has tried on the path toward increased mental health and higher consciousness. Some of these seemed to help for a while and some have had potentially permanent effects. It’s not clear that any of them “cured” me, whatever that means. It’s hard to say that that will ever happen. However, in retrospect, I’m grateful they didn’t as I would probably not be as far along the “path” as I am now without the experiences of suffering that motivated me to “try just one more time.” …

How High is Your Therapist? (Part One)

You can only get as high as your therapist.
Ram Dass

This is a very important question, but one that needs some context. When Ram Dass says “high,” he’s talking about a level of consciousness, not a psychedelic drug-induced high. Or, you could think of a level of emotional maturity or emotional intelligence, as one author calls it.

This question connects to the idea I implied in another article (This is Your Brain on Therapy, Part One) that your therapist’s emotional health directly relates to the results you’ll get in therapy. Ram Dass says the same thing with different (catchier?) words.

A Needed Course Correction for the “Evidence-Based” Movement?

“Every psychotherapist recognizes that what works for one person may not work for another; we embrace the maxim, ‘Different strokes for different folks.’”
John Norcross

In recent times, much fuss has been made about evidence-based treatments (EBT). In our case, this refers to psychotherapy treatments that have been “proven” to work for certain diagnoses. In a separate article, I made the argument that psychologists reject EBTs because the science behind them is too primitive to be useful. Here I look at a possible way that the “evidence-based” movement may have actual value to people who do psychotherapy in the field and not just for publishing journal articles in an academic environment.

Body Work: Not Just for Dented Cars Any More

We use our minds not to discover facts but to hide them. One of the things the screen hides most effectively is the body, our own body.
Antonio Damasio

Up until recently, psychotherapy almost exclusively focused on the mind and pretty much ignored the body. You know, “I think, therefore I am.” Well, not so much, Mr. Descartes. If one engages in effective trauma therapy (my specialty; and I’ll argue some other time that all therapy is trauma therapy), one must focus on both the mind and the body. This is because the body holds the memories of the trauma, whether big T or little t trauma. Our brain automatically turns off our mind, or at least turns it down, during trauma. After that, as Dr. Damasio implies, the mind protects us by hiding the body memories of the trauma. To heal from trauma, we must get around the mind and access (slowly, carefully) these body memories.

Listening to Parts: A Path to Healing and to a Higher Self

Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.
Leonard Cohen

Parts is parts.
Wendy’s Commercial, 1984

In a previous article, I proposed that we all have “parts,” as in “There’s a part of me that really doesn’t want to believe that we all have parts.” For purposes of this article, I will assume that you either believe me or you’re willing to go along for the ride for a while. Either way, I hope that you’ll find the ride worthwhile. I know that I have.

Do We All Have Multiple Personalities?

“Part of me knows I should do this. But there’s another part of me that really doesn’t want to.”
Everyone at one time or another

How many times have you said this to yourself? Does talking to yourself about “parts” like this mean you qualify for a diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (previously called Multiple Personality Disorder)? Probably not. However, I have had the honor of working with people who have this diagnosis. I call it an “honor” because my sense is that someone who suffers from this does not let on about it to just anyone. In any case, in working with these people, it came to me one day that everyone (including me and including you) has something in common with them.

Dr. Dan is fully booked and is only available to current and former clients.

To find a therapist with openings in their schedule, you may wish to search the Psychology Today Therapist Directory. It enables you to search for people who take your insurance, have relevant specialties, and more.