Author Archives: Evander Lomke

Patterns of Culture

“The issue in psychiatry has been too often confused by starting from a fixed list of symptoms instead of from the study of those whose characteristic reactions are denied validity in their society.” (Ruth Benedict, Patterns of Culture [1934]) These wise words were written 75 years ago.

The Need for Humility and Enlightened Humanity

Likely we have all seen the terrible story out of Connecticut of the friend that was mauled by the pet chimpanzee of the other friend. It obviously reminds us of the mysteries of the brain. Why would a docile creature suddenly turn? But there is another dimension to the story. This has to do with […]

Imperfect Democracy and Mental Health

The January 5, 2009, New York Times reports in its Memo from Pravda that “In Eastern Europe, Lives Languish in Mental Facilities.” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/05/world/europe/05bulgaria.html “A study of guardianship in eight former Communist countries completed last year by the Mental Disability Advocacy Center in Budapest found jaillike regimens for patients with a wide range of mental disabilities, […]

Psychoanalytic Humor For The New Year

Happy New Year to all our readers! If it seems I am preoccupied with cartoons, especially of The New Yorker variety . . . I am! Page 54 of the January 5, 2009, issue has a wonderful cartoon by Harry Bliss. It is a group session of an unusual variety. A couple (presumably) are in […]

The Psychopath, Modern Science, and the Therapist

John Seabrook, author of the book Flash of Genius and Other True Stories of Invention writes on the subject of Suffering Souls in the November 10, 2008, issue of The New Yorker. Can new and improved MRI techniques identify and help analysts deal with psychopaths? The psychopath, think characters in a Thomas Harris novel, also […]

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Lantern Books Publishes for Stressed Parents

Permit me to say this about Lantern Books’s exceptional new title An Unchanged Mind: The Problem of Immaturity in Adolescence by Harvard psychiatrist John A. McKinnon, MD: I wish I were issuing this book myself. The reason being, I am the publisher of American Mental Health Foundation Books. Adolescent behavior in its extreme forms is […]

Our New Video

Under the auspices of LanternMedia, the American Mental Health Foundation has produced a short video about its history and program. You may watch it below:

Now, Voyager, and psychoanalysis

A wonderful movie was made in 1942. The critics at the time considered it a standard “weepie.” Yet, the film Now, Voyager, has stood the test of time. Why? The title is taken from a short and obscure lyric by Walt Whitman, a two-liner almost of a type out of the still-to-be-developed Imagist School, on […]

The New Yorker doesn’t quite get it after all

The contest-winning caption on the Wizard of Oz group-therapy session drawing is in. The judges went for the cheap laugh. “And my hourly fee is six hundred dollars. You’re not in Kansas anymore.” The winning entry is by Bill Craig of Ridgewood, New Jersey. Mr. Craig has written an amusing caption to be sure. His […]

Leave it to The New Yorker

Not that I am such a rabid reader of The New Yorker magazine, but in the past several weeks their cartoonists have outdone themselves in relevance to AMHF. At this writing, the “Wizard of Oz” group-session caption has not been selected. It ought to be final by Labor Day. But the August 25 and September […]

The New Yorker magazine gets it Part 2

This week, we have the three finalists among caption-writers in The New Yorker Cartoon Capton Contest. “And my hourly fee is six hundred dollars. You’re not in Kansas anymore.” “If you adopt her, please understand that she comes with a lot of baggage.” “Home–is there really no place like it? Who’d like to start?” All […]

special needs and the elderly

Individuals with Special Needs as well as The Elderly…too often, our society wants us to forget they exist. How much easier it is to turn our heads and pretend that we just don’t see. “What you do to the least of mine, you also do to me.” One of the goals of “The New American […]

psyche the soul

Psyche, everyone knows, is a word from the ancient Greek. It means Soul. The work of psychoanalysis is, first, to understand the reasons we feel and act a certain way. Second, to help the distressed, the stressed-out, the depressed. By any objective measure, the human lifespan is short. Yet for many, the timespan of a […]

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The New Yorker magazine gets it

The New Yorker runs a back-page cartoon-caption contest every week. The latest has some relevance. Two people are at the forefront of a circle, speaking to one another. An austere, bespectacled analyst sits opposite. The other participants in the group session are characters from The Wizard of Oz. The magazine chooses the three most-entertaining entries […]

The Price of Affluence

I was much taken with a New York Times article from several months ago. The article explained that with a rising middle class in India comes a greater need for psychotherapy among many more people. Stress has (sadly) reached gargantuan proportions, In our high-pressured 21st-century world, evermore the McLuhanistic Global Village, everyone everywhere requires better […]

Dick Cavett

“10 times better than you feel”

Everyone of “a certain age” remembers Dick Cavett. He was the intellectual alternative on ABC Television to Johnny Carson—another name, increasingly famliar only among those of a similar “certain age.” But you do not need to have seen original episodes—or even more-recent PBS reruns of—”The Dick Cavett Show” to welcome his fantastic blog series in […]

The importance of AMHF and why I am involved

Professionally, I had wanted to be a meterologist; but I changed course, and my training transformed into the literary life. Following my B.A. in English Literature from CCNY, which had begun its bold Open Enrollment policy the year I arrived, I was accepted into the PhD program at the University of Toronto. I gathered my […]

T. Byram Karasu

Challenges faced by the psychoanalyst

The Monday, July 7, 2008, edition of the New York Times Metro Section led off with Challenges of $600-a-Session Patients by Eric Konisberg. With our economy teetering, the article nonetheless explores the so-called Age of Riches—Therapists to the Elite. T. Byram Karasu, much mentitoned in our 2000 AMHF book Crucial Choices—Crucial Changes (available at discount […]

portrait by El Greco

A new day for the American Mental Health Foundation

Hello to everyone interested in mental well-being and the world of psychoanalysis. These are exciting times. Our foundation, the American Mental Health Foundation (AMHF), which we believe is the oldest nonprofit foundation devoted to mental-health research in the United States, is gearing up to meet the challenges and complexities of the 21st century. The brain, […]

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