Unatanatokef – Escaping the Shackles of My Hell
In between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we Jews are prodded to remember, reflect and return. This past year, and honestly the year prior as well, have been well… Hell. I know, I know, Jews don’t believe in a place commonly known as “Hell”. It is just a bit different for us. For the past year my Hell has been right here on this earth, right here in my life, right hear in my head and right here in my heart. My Hell is a very personal solo experience, unless you are close enough to get in my line of fire like my husband, my kids and a few close...read more
PTSD in the Wake of The Connecticut Shooting
Symptoms of emotional and psychological trauma Following a traumatic event, or repeated trauma, people react in different ways, experiencing a wide range of physical and emotional reactions. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to think, feel, or respond to trauma, so don’t judge your own reactions or those of other people. Your responses are NORMAL reactions to ABNORMAL events. Emotional and psychological symptoms of trauma: Shock, denial, or disbelief Anger, irritability, mood swings Guilt, shame, self-blame Feeling sad or hopeless Confusion,...read more
Nursing, Co-Sleeping and Baby Wearing OH MY… I’m Exhausted!
I have long believed, and often tell the couples that I work with, that infants are amazingly well organized and sensible creatures. They tell us everything we need to know, IF only we listen. The problem is, we rarely listen. We are busy reading books, watching videos, and asking professionals how to be better parents, without getting to the business of parenting. As a parenting and relationship expert what I see in my practice and with my friends is that a high percentage of parents today practice some form or variation of attachment...read more
Zip It.com – A Continuation of my Conversation with Steve Santagati
Several months ago I was on Dr. Drew’s show, an episode about the Anthony Weiner exposure debacle, with a gentleman (term used loosely) named Steve Santagati who represented himself as an alpha male. Because of the nature of the television interview, we were unable to have a complete conversation, and I have some things left to say. Steve, you richly pointed out “we’re on a television show, not a documentary, so I have to speak in generalities”… I don’t know what that means exactly, but if you’re reading my blog, I invite your comments, here...read more
The Most Important Legacy of Joe Paterno
Sometimes the world moves in mysterious yet tragic and incredible ways. The story out of Penn State is an example. My wish as a Clinical Psychologist and an advocate for victims of sexual abuse is that Joe Paterno recognizes the unique and powerful moment in time that has been thrust upon him right here, right now. Joe Paterno must realize he has been given an opportunity to make real change around the issue of child sexual abuse. With his reputation and media power his most important legacy just might be to shine a bright light around this...read more
The Million Teenage Mom March!
I know one day my precious little girl Tova, who was in a car seat not that long ago, will come to me to say that she is going to or already has had sex. And when that day comes, I expect my husband and I will laugh and cry, feeling sad for the baby that has grown up in front of our eyes and happy that we have created a home in which she feels comfortable talking to us. I imagine the conversation about sexual safety that I will have with both of my children, ensuring that they both know that it is their responsibility to be prepared. And I...read more
For the Sake of our Children…
Once again, what happens in politics deeply effects our families and children. You can say that the actions of Phillip Hinkle was shameful, was immoral, was scandalous; I say that we need to take a deeper look at ourselves. A reaction formation is a defense wherein anxiety about a feature of self is so intense that the person acts out an exaggerated response in the opposite direction. In the recent example of representative Phillip Hinkle from Indiana, it could be asserted that his rejection of homosexuality, which goes so far as his voting...read more
Cup of Tears
My therapist kept asking me “So when are you going to deal with your dad’s death?” He is a father of similar age to mine and with grey hair and glasses that could have even been worn by my dad. Annoyed I said, “Sheldon, I’m not ready. It has only been a month ok!” I am still numb. I don’t want to look at pictures of my father. I think because I am afraid of what I will feel and at times even more afraid of what I won’t feel. When his face comes into my mind’s eye I quickly push it away. Picturing his face feels like staring at the sun –...read more
I Hate You!!
How many times have we repeated the thought “I HATE YOU!” in our minds about our co-workers, parents or even our spouse while in a fit of frustration? Many of us have said those words to people we deeply love and care about and obviously don’t truly hate. I must confess, right now I am thinking those awful words “I hate you!” about my own child! She is 7 but I swear she is either hormonal or actually a teenager in a little girl costume! Either way, as smart, funny and adorable as she is, currently she is far more annoying then any of those...read more
Was a Fraud Perpetrated Not Just by Casey but by George and Cindy too?
I begin this article being very clear that I am not a lawyer and I do not look at cases or tragic situations within families from the perspective of evidentiary evidence. As a Clinical Psychologist I observe behavior, actions and narrative to get underneath the story that is unfolding before me whether in my practice or as a media psychologist. I have been working with victims of trauma and sexual abuse for over 2 decades. My experience and clinical intuition told me as early as September 2008 that there was something deeply and...read more