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Archive for the ‘Personalities’ Category

See the Person Behind the Eyes

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Who is behind the mask?
The Practice
See the person behind the eyes.

Most of us wear a kind of mask, a persona that hides our deepest thoughts and feelings, and presents a polished, controlled face to the world.

To be sure, a persona is a good thing to have. For example, meetings at work, holidays with the in-laws, or a first date are usually not the best time to spill your guts. Just because you’re selective about what you reveal to the world does not mean you’re insincere; phoniness is only when we lie about what’s really going on inside.

Much of the time, we interact mask-to-mask with other people. There’s a place for that. But remember times when someone saw through your mask to the real you, the person back behind your eyes. If you’re like me, those times were both unnerving and wonderful.

Even though it’s scary, everyone longs to be seen, to be known. To have your hopes and fears acknowledged – the ones behind a polite smile or a frown of frustration. To have your true caring seen, as well as your positive intentions and natural goodness. Most intimately of all, to feel that your innermost being – the one to whom things happen, the one strapped to this rollercoaster of a life trying to make sense of it before it ends – has been recognized by someone. (more…)

Dr. Hanson is a neuropsychologist in San Rafael, California. His practice includes adults, couples, families, and children, as well as psychological assessments of children and adults related to temperament, school performance, and educational and vocational planning. For more information, please visit his listing on the Therapist Directory

Appreciating Our Differences

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 by Ruth Gordon, LCSW

This evening I went to see the movie, “Rachel Getting Married”. If “Caddy Shack” is your idea of a great film , this one is definitely not for you. The film is devastating and human and joyful and touching and hopeful all at the same time. I enjoy a certain amount of emotional wreckage, especially when my doses come from a distance, so for me, I feel that my movie money was well spent.

One of the sub-themes of this movie was the realization of the joy and comfort available to us when we are able to expand our ways of thinking so that we include other cultures and points of view in our value system. I will not reveal plot points, but this is story-telling that possesses wisdom and an attitude of respect. See it if you can.

What I experience over and over in my life and practice is the belief held by many that it is impossible to be emotionally intimate with someone who sees the world through a different lens. We seem to be living in a time where we expect others to “twin” with us. If they fail to do that, we immediately brand them as the “enemy”, and close our minds and hearts to all kinds of wonderful possibilities.


Ruth Gordon is licensed clinical social worker in both Massachusetts and Florida. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.