Although this blog is not a forum for literary critiques and commentary, my recent four-month wrestling match with The Karamazov Brothers (the translator of the edition I found in my branch of the New York Public Library maintains it is as ridiculous to call the book “The Brothers Karamazov” as it is to refer to […]By: Evander Lomke
Forgiveness is a quality frequently preached about, talked about, and idealized: yet it may be very difficult to accomplish. The National Association of Social Workers has written about the value of forgiveness and how to bring this into one’s life. “Sometimes forgiveness is an important part of what a client wants to achieve in counseling. […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Next to Normal is the bravest and one of the most talked-about Broadway musicals in years. It is recently the subject of an American Theatre Wing “Working in the Theatre” seminar. We highly recommend this landmark musical as a way, along with the efforts of AMHF, to raise public awareness about bipolar disorder and other […]By: Evander Lomke
In founding AMHF Books, the book-publishing arm of The American Mental Health Foundation, I along with our board sought two things. (1) To disseminate our knowledge in a way that also would preserve the lifework of the late Stefan de Schill. This would include books written in the spirit of Dr. de Schill’s work but […]By: Evander Lomke
The New York Times today announced the death of Alice Miller. Dr. Miller is a writer in the psychoanalytic tradition who did not publisher her first book until her late forties and much experience in the field. The Gifted Child was the first of many books written by a first-class intellect who had the great […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Have you heard of “Freudy-cats”? One of our AMHF board members, the distinguished publisher Jack Fowler, filled me in. These are people afraid of going into therapy. Why? And do you know any Freudy-cats?By: Evander Lomke
In 1953, the year the Rosenbergs were convicted in the electric chair, Esther Greenwood (a.k.a. Elly Higginbottom), poet Sylvia Plath’s alter ego (further complicating the picture, Plath wrote under the pen name “Victoria Lucas”), underwent electroshock therapy. Electricity, neurological connections, high-strung emotion, madness, suicide (which the real-life Plath committed ten years after the setting of […]By: Evander Lomke
Emily White is a lawyer who lived alone for six years in her 30s and said those were years of “savage loneliness.” She has written a book about this, “Lonely: A memoir”, just published by Harper Collins. Ms. White describes many of the pop psychology attitudes that even serious therapists adope. “Living alone gives you […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
“The problem with OCD,” John Eudes says, “is that it leads to a mode of perception and thinking that is too abstract, too narrow. God is life-giving, not a taskmaster or harsh judge of solitary behaviors, as OCD or scrupulosity suggests. To fight OCD, one has to develop other images and thoughts based on reality […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
As professionals in the mental-health fields try harder with cognitive behavior therapy and medications, over and over, one might imagine that this is a manifestation of the same mechanism of OCD. Where might other sources of help be found, especially for those suffering with scrupulosity? Can a Trappist monk, who is also a Georgetown-trained physician […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
I highly recommend Louis Menand in the March 1, 2010, issue of The New Yorker. In part, Menand writes: “Progress in medical science is made by lurching around. The best that can be hoped is that we are lurching in an overall good direction….The goal of biological psychiatry is to identify the organic conditions underlying […]By: Evander Lomke
One advantage of a blog is the expression of creative ideas, or at least new ideas, in a rapid way. So I will take advantage of this and hope there is at least a little creativity to be found in what follows. Personally written messages are becoming extinct. It is so much easier to dash […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
When I was learning fly casting a number of years ago, I turned to a number of experts to teach me. Throughout small successes in getting the heavy and whiplike line to carry the tiny artificial fly toward the fish were many, many failures through which the line wrapped around me or became entangled in […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Tomorrow, October 10, 2009, is World Mental Health Day! world mental health dayBy: Evander Lomke
The 21st century may become known as “The Century of the Brain.” The American Mental Health Foundation holds out hope that our century will do for “the psyche” what the 20th century did for physics. How counterintuitive and strange the world described by Einstein in the early part of the previous century seems, even to […]By: Evander Lomke
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a cross to bear for all who are within its range, including spouses, other immediate family, friends, and perhaps the sufferer of this condition most of all. Before 1980, this was not a recognized psychiatric term. But it was added in the Third Edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Summer is a great time to catch up on all of those novels, mysteries, and thrillers that have piled up over the year. Sometimes it can be a time to reacquaint oneself with favorite authors from the past, read long ago while in school, knowing that a rereading can bring out many more themes. One […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The May 18, 2009, issue of The New Yorker features an article by Jonah Lehrer entitled “Don’t.” It is about the psychology of delayed gratification. For those of us who may have long questioned a society that encourages and even reveres instant pleasure, the article is of considerable interest. A cartoon some 40 pages later […]By: Evander Lomke