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
The American Mental Health Foundation takes no official position on the SAT. We do, however, recognize the tremendous anxiety it engenders. As in many areas related to mental health, knowing something about the history gives us greater awareness of how current practices developed. You will see how this bit of history offers a lesson to […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
“There’s no art / To find the mind’s construction in the face.” (Macbeth)By: Evander Lomke
What or where are the boundaries of psychology and parapsychology? Are those that ridicule research into ESP, telepathy, precognition, and clairvoyance acting as responsible skeptics? Or are they closed-minded? When it comes to the human mind, it may be always be best to keep an open mind. In 1972, a slim book by Arthur Koestler […]By: Evander Lomke
“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 ) These wise words were written 75 years ago.By: Evander Lomke
After many legislative proposals and actions since at least 1996, the US House of Representatives finally passed a Mental Health Parity Bill. This will be good news for the 35 million Americans who experience mental illness and emotional problems, and for whom our foundation is dedicated. Please see the New York Times, March 6, 2009. […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
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 […]By: Evander Lomke
The New York Times recently reported on cutting-edge research with direct implications for mental health. Genetic researchers discovered a variety of gene mutations in the genes affecting the enzymes produced by the liver: chemicals that are the first step in changing psychiatric drugs into other chemicals that can then influence the brain. (The variety of […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
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 […]By: Evander Lomke
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 […]By: Evander Lomke
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:By: Evander Lomke
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 […]By: Evander Lomke
The American Psychological Association, a group of over 100,000 psychologists in the U.S.A., offers helpful information for professionals as well as the public on its website: click here for APA linkBy: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
On this day of sadness and mourning I’m thinking about a book that Anna Freud wrote during World War Two. CHILDREN AND WAR was written for the women of London who were holding down the country during the deadly German bombings. These heroic women did just about everything to keep London alive in front-line conditions. […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
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 […]By: Evander Lomke
In the latter part of the 20th century a dramatic shift occurred regarding the manner in which psychiatrists and other mental health professionals described and diagnosed psychological problems. DSM I, the first version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, was a modest size paperback handbook providing broad categories of mental health problems. It was the […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
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 […]By: Evander Lomke
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 […]By: Evander Lomke
The article about Dr. Karasu about the Very Rich in psychotherapy noted that young persons born into Very Wealthy families “are so often narcissistic in a way that excludes depression.” This made me stop to think about the many people from history where we think there is suggestion of depression or some kind of mental […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
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 […]By: Evander Lomke
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 […]By: Evander Lomke
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 […]By: Evander Lomke
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 […]By: Evander Lomke
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 […]By: Evander Lomke
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, […]By: Evander Lomke