Sacred Disorder | Cliff Bostock's blog – 'Finally, I came to regard as sacred the disorder of my mind' (Rimbaud)

Archive for the "psychology" Category

Charlie Sheen: cracking up with America

As I’ve explained many times, I don’t watch TV, so the Charlie Sheen brouhaha didn’t enter my awareness until a few days ago when I came across the above  video.  Then I Googled and found a zillion articles and video clips in which every mental health professional on the planet, like Dr. Drew, proffers an […]

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When therapy is all about the money

Is talk therapy going silent? Not entirely, but the Saturday edition of the New York Times featured an article entitled “Talk Doesn’t Pay, So Psychiatry Turns Instead to Drug Therapy.” This is very old news to anyone in the mental health field — as a patient or practitioner. But it’s good to see that The […]

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Wow, there’s such a thing as the unconscious!

Christopher Lane, author of Shyness: How a Normal Behavior Became a Sickness, has a superb column on the Psychology Today website this week. It’s a critique of David Brook’s New Yorker essay on neuroscience and psychology. Lane makes this point: What’s striking about… the article… is the idea, articulated most forcefully since the mid nineteenth […]

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How images make it get better

I’ve received a handful of mail and comments (via Facebook) on my last post about the way images can help us confront the contents of the unconscious, so that repressed material can emerge. Although this is sometimes painful, it almost always produces positive gains. Most of the people who wrote asked me to write more […]

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Holiday pain, a crying cat, a broken heart

“Habentibus symbolum facile est transitus.” (“To those who have a symbol, the transition is easy.”) The day after Thanksgiving, I stopped at a service station on Hill Street in Grant Park. Between this station and I-20 is some wooded land in which homeless people live. It is also home to many feral cats. As I […]

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Eat, eat, chew, chew, swallow

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life from Harvard SPH on Vimeo. (UPDATED BELOW) If you have any contact with psychotherapy these days, you’ve heard about mindfulness training. Adapted from Buddhist psychology, it’s a method of staying fully conscious in the present moment. My own decision to study psychology for an MA and PhD was very much […]

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What enables Bishop Eddie Long to be such an a**hole

Rev. Eddie Long (or “Schlong”) is the latest homophobic preacher to turn out to be having covert sex with young men. I’ve written a lot over the years about the process behind such behavior. It’s called a reaction formation and it is extremely common. Whenever you hear someone taking a very extreme position on something, […]

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Sleep, dreams and creativity

The New York Times has been publishing a blog, “All-Nighters,” which it describes as “an exploration of insomnia, sleep and the nocturnal life.” It’s of personal interest to me since I’ve suffered insomnia ever since my mother’s death four years ago. I found the March 19 entry, “Why We Need to Dream” by Jonah Lehrer, […]

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The power of images and beauty

Here are two poems I like very much. I frequently refer clients to them because they express what I’m often trying to communicate about the value of images and beauty in my work. It is not ultimately analysis that moves us out of our psychological blocks. It’s the image, the aesthetic, itself. Both of these […]

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Another birthday

Tuesday, June 16, is my birthday. It’s also Bloomsday, Dublin’s annual celebration of writer James Joyce and his world-changing novel, Ulysses, published in 1922. Bloomsday is named after Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Ulysses, which describes a single day in his life, June 16, 1904. I’ve always enjoyed the coincidence of being born on the […]

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