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Archive for the ‘Experience’ Category

The Brain in a Bucket

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010 by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Have you ever seen a real brain?

I remember the first time I saw one, in a neuropsych class: the instructor put on rubber gloves to protect against the formaldehyde preservative, popped the lid off of a lab bucket, and then pulled out a brain.

It didn’t look like much, a nondescript waxy yellowish-white blob rather like a sculpted head of cauliflower. But the whole class went silent. We were looking at the real deal, ground zero for consciousness, headquarters for “me.” The person it came from – or, in a remarkable sense, the person who came from it – was of course dead. Would my brain, too, end up in a lab bucket? That thought gave me a creepy weird feeling completely unlike the feeling of having my heart or hand in a bucket some day – which gets right at the specialness of your brain.
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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

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…

Thursday, February 4th, 2010 by Ruth Gordon, LCSW

It’s always unsettling, to say the least, when facing an inevitable unwelcome event that will occur at some unknown time in the future. This could be anything from going to the dentist to a serious loss. There hangs the sword of Damocles and we are helpless to make it vanish or to slither out from under it — we are stuck.

We can steel ourselves, go into denial, round up a crew of advisors, or utilize any one of a number of possible reinforcements.
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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.

Your Best Re-Frame

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009 by Ruth Gordon, LCSW

So…your life isn’t going the way you planned. You’ve held your chin up high for what feels like (& often is) ages. “Everything happens for a reason” and “When one door closes another one opens” just don’t work for you anymore. What can you do? Well, one answer is find a palatable re-frame.

A re-frame involves taking a look at something from a different angle. For example: An elephant steps on your toe. You can think, “That elephant was out to get me” or “That gunshot frightened the elephant & my toe just happened to be in the way when the elephant jumped” (I’m sure these examples are extremely useful in your everyday life).
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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.

What are you doing right now?

Friday, September 18th, 2009 by Mauri-Lynne Heller

In response to the queries of persistent readers who have been awaiting a new column since late June, I thank you for your notice and offer this little essay in response. In case you’ve ever wondered, the English word essay comes from the French word essayer, meaning “to try.” An essay represents an effort to formulate and communicate ideas. An essay, therefore, is a writer’s attempt to use language to forge a connection with a reader.

Overly optimistic about the launch date of my new Inside Out Journal weblog, I penned a column on the origins of culture and creativity, pleased by the compatibility of topic and occasion. It’s all ready to go, but alas, my brilliant designer and I have a bit more work to do before the unveiling.

So, in an effort to stay connected, I offer these musings about, well, staying connected. Meanwhile, stay tuned. Inside Out will contain a neatly categorized archive of all my past columns along with new ones.

Social Networking

Sometime in between dinner and dessert last Thanksgiving, the middle son of one of my oldest friends got me signed up on Facebook. Pulsating quietly on the desk behind the fully expanded dining table, the computer beckoned, and as Zach had nothing else to do during the interim ten minutes, he quickly cobbled together my home page. I finished up later.
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Mauri-Lynne Heller is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Psychoanalyst in private practice in Southern California. A graduate of Newport Psychoanalytic Institute and member of Newport Center for Psychoanalytic Studies, she is also an active member of the Writing and Research Task Force. A regular contributor to the online Health and Fitness Pages of the Orange Counter Register, her column "Inside Out" appears twice monthly. She is also a supervisor to clinical interns and a writing/editorial consultant. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory

Coming Into Balance

Thursday, July 16th, 2009 by Mel Schwartz, LCSW

I recently broke my foot, a fracture that occurred as I missed a step on my front porch. The break occurred on the outside part of my foot- the fifth metatarsal. My doctor provided some good news in that I wouldn’t need a cast and I proceeded to adjust to my broken foot. Or so I thought. In deference to the pain on the outer perimeter of my foot I shifted my weight toward my other side, compensating for the damage.

By the following week later I had developed a new and more painful problem. I had stressed the unbroken part of my foot by placing an inordinate amount of pressure on it. I actually experienced more acute pain in that area than in the break itself. A month later the broken bone had essentially healed–but the damage I caused to the inner part of my foot still lingers. This is an issue of compensation. And nowhere does this tendency provoke more havoc than in our emotional and psychological lives.
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Mel Schwartz is a psychotherapist with offices in Westport Ct and NYC. For more information, please visit his listing on the Therapist Directory or his website. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.