Dr. Stanley Goldstein - Author and Psychologist

A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

Why People May Irrationally Fear That They Are “Going Crazy"

July 25, 2016

Tags: insane, "going crazy"

Psychologists describe the part of the mind which controls behavior as the “Executive Function” and there are few greater fears than its loss. Without a locus of control, no one can function adequately. While its loss is a common fear, this is almost always unjustified. When occurring, it is usually with those whose sense (more…)

Why Some Children Lack Psychological “Sturdiness”

July 18, 2016

Tags: children, parents, toddlers

Parents know that infants vary greatly in their “sturdiness,” their ability to tolerate separation from them. Children with extreme responses to separation are buffeted by panic after instances of parental “abandonment” that is manageable for less vulnerable youngsters.
Parental unavailability is devastating for them, promoting clinginess and a desperate need to ensure parental proximity. (more…)

How Abuse Victims Fall Apart Psychologically (Decompensate)

July 16, 2016

Tags: abuse

Abuse victims fall apart psychologically (decompensate) in stages. The victim first denies the reality of imminent danger with a stubbornness bordering on the psychotic. When this defense against the reality of the situation fails, the victim tends to lose control of themselves and give up. As other people fail to help them, the victim feels given up on and enters a state of resignation. Finally,as all (more…)

How Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Affects the Body

July 11, 2016

Tags: PTSD, stress, trauma

“Allostasis” reflects the body’s normal ability to function despite stress. The “allostatic load” is the hidden price paid when the person is under continuing stress. This causes alteration (dysregulation) of the body’s stress-response system, reducing its customary, adequate processes of containment. Thus, individuals who have been exposed to traumatic stress tend to (more…)