I feel unusually close to The Snake Pit, personally, if not intimately and daily, working with one of the writers, Millen Brand, during my early days in book publishing. This, the tenth film out of twenty-one in the AMHF series, required significant research from the filmmakers in adapting an autobiographical novel by Jane Ward. The […]By: Evander Lomke
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is the eighth of twenty-one films discussed in this blog. It is the earliest movie and the only silent one. It works by flashback and is a vivid visual re-creation of intensely scrambled mental states. The story line, somewhat condensed from Wikipedia, is as follows: The main narrative is introduced […]By: Evander Lomke
This is the seventh film under under close scrutiny in the AMHF series of films. (We “analyze” other movies in different blogs. But not all are come within this series of, eventually, twenty-one.) Alfred Hitchcock had worked under David O. Selznick five years before, directing Rebecca. The association of two such egos was more a […]By: Evander Lomke
This month governors and the President are reflecting on what is going on in their respective territories. I thought this would be a good time to look at the state of the state of mental health and to offer my own reflections. DSM V Will Be Issued This year will inaugurate the new DSM V. […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
There is much more to be said on this centennial anniversary of Northrop Frye’s birth. After reading Evander’s recent blog, I ordered a copy of Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism. This edition included a new foreword by Harold Bloom. How is Frye’s work related to mental health? Evander’s posting makes us wonder if Frye’s work and […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Today on Easter Sunday Erich Fromm‘s The Revolution of Hope offers us a discussion on the paradox and need for hope in human affairs, Resurrection, as well as psycho-spiritual renewal. In this optimistic work, the noted humanist draws upon religious traditions to help everyone in our secular world.By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
There’s something about the Deep South that inspires the writing of great literature (think William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote) more than, for example, North Dakota. Likewise, we think of “the grand diagnoses” in psychiatry more than we do, say, about Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Prince of Tides is a 1991 movie capturing the lowland beauty […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is the fourth of twenty-one films under review by AMHF in relation to its mission. Of all the films covered or to be covered, it is unique. One, it is pure science fiction with a wholly supernatural element. Two, the psychiatrist is a minor character and himself winds up a […]By: Evander Lomke
On May 2, 2012, it will be sixty-five years since release of Miracle on 34th Street. But the film is hardly ready for retirement. It is one of twenty-one movies identified by AMHF for discussion relevant to the Foundation mission statement. Released one year before Dr. Stefan de Schill assumed directorship of research at AMHF, […]By: Evander Lomke
One of the anxiety disorders classified in the DSM-IV-TR is Social Phobia. This can be more deleterious than, say a snake phobia—a social phobia can cause withdrawal from so many important events in one’s life. Social phobia can include fear and avoidance of social situations because of fear of scrutiny and judgment. The person recognizes […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
What Freud called “free floating anxiety” is now known in the DSM-IV TR as Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It’s excessive worry that can’t be controlled by the person who is experiencing it. Symptoms may include restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, tension, and sleep disturbances; when several of these reach the point of interfering with an important […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Now, Voyager is the second “psychiatry film” in this series of blogs on movies with themes or characters that are relevant to the mission of AMHF. Released almost seventy years ago (October 22, 1942), Now, Voyager, which gets its title from lines in a poem by Walt Whitman (“The Untold Want”), was something of a […]By: Evander Lomke
The December 22, 2011, edition of the New York Times brings out another article on the problems and abuses in New York State public groups homes where developmentally disabled persons reside. It is important to note that the focus of the NYT articles has been on “public” rather than private group homes. Many of the […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Pope Benedict VI decries the increasing commercialization of Christmas. Indeed, readers of this blog remember that among the films with a strong psychological component, listed in a recent posting, is Miracle on 34th Street. This 1947 classic, though “AMHF-blog worthy” being about the workings of a therapist and a HRD “personality tester,” primarily takes up […]By: Evander Lomke
The following is based on interviews with Alexandra Styron. I first met Alexandra Styron at a reading of her new book, Reading My Father: A Memoir (Scribner, 2011). She was appearing at the Quogue Public Library on Long Island. It was one of those beautiful midsummer afternoons that remind one so much of Henry James’s […]By: Dr. Melissa Wanamaker
I came across this memoir (with its compelling title, somewhat reminiscent of the work of Clarice Lispector) upon learning its author, Carol Hebald, had been awarded (six years before) the same fellowship I had been given as an undergraduate. The foreword is by iconoclast Thomas Stephen Szasz, known for his anti-traditional “anti-views” of psychotherapy. In […]By: Evander Lomke
A stock market that swings erratically every few years is looking to be the new normal: Many even doubt that a ten-year horizon is a safe one for long-term investors or those planning retirement. Economic worries are real. They can be all-consuming. Yet, often unacknowledged is the role of one’s emotional experience in diluting or […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Not to become or be considered hopelessly maudlin, though I am a bit of the nostalgic sort, I am this still Sunday afternoon, as the light shines a certain way, remembering our long-time director, Dr. Stefan de Schill, in a personal way. Long before I was invited to be on the board of directors of […]By: Evander Lomke
Previously we have written about Marsha Linehan, clinical psychologist who developed dialectical behavioral therapy, and who has worked throughout her career with persons who display severe suicidal behaviors or symptoms of what is called borderline personality disorder. On June 23, 2011, the New York Times presented an intriguing story, Expert on Mental Illness Reveals Her […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
This New York Times article on the state of talk-therapy in our time says it all. It is highly recommended to our readers. The article exposes many of the weaknesses in the field against which Dr. de Schill tirelessly campaigned. Welcome to the Brave New World of pills and revolving-door therapy. Money is in, and […]By: Evander Lomke