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

Why Do Patients Lie to Their Therapist?

A prevalent belief is that a patient always tells the truth to their therapist but this isn't true.
1. A woman was referred by her internist to a psychologist for "counseling," the unspoken motive being that she was a continuing, troublesome presence in the doctor's office. That the patient was seriously ill was obvious  Read More 
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Six Basic Rules for the Newbie Public Speaker and TV Guest

1. Over-practice your talking points. This will reduce the likelihood of you being tripped up when facing an unexpected question. If not on-the-air (before a live audience) and you're unsure what to respond, turn the question back to the audience by asking, "What do you think?"
2. Don't have long pauses before answering a question. Nothing  Read More 
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When Is A "Sexual Assault" a "Sexual Assault"?

Like all who read the news, I was shocked to learn that a former head of the Center for Disease Control, an eminent public servant, had been charged with sexual assault in New York City. What equally surprised me were the details as reported.

The doctor had allegedly squeezed the buttocks of a woman  Read More 
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What Made a Brilliant, Decorated Soldier Go Off the Rails?

I can't help wondering what made Reality Winner, the NSA leaker & former highly decorated soldier and brilliant linguist, go off the rails. Projective psychological testing (Rorschach, Thematic Apperception Test) might give the answer but I doubt this was done. Being a loner and quirky (as described in the news article) doesn't add up to  Read More 
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Explaining Clinical Depression Briefly

Depression is the "depressing" of feelings and reflects: (1) conflict about an issue, the person being torn between choices; or (2)having been unable to reach their parents emotionally when young and later tending to give up on important goals, believing they will fail again; or (3) the sense of having deep problems; or (4) a combination of  Read More 
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Reflections on the White House Firing or When to Fire Yourself

After experiencing several highly stressful jobs, I came to an important conclusion: That while choosing the right job is important, it's even more important to know when to leave it. My suggestions follow.

Quit your job, if you have the economic freedom to do so, of course:

(1) When the political infighting has become intolerable.  Read More 
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The Most Difficult Factor in Treating Children in Psychotherapy

Almost paradoxically, what can be most difficult in treating a child is not the child but their parents' resistance to their treatment which derives from misconceptions: that long-term problems can be eliminated quickly; that the therapist will try to control their lives; or simple jealousy, as when the child values their therapist, or a  Read More 
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How to Survive a Terrible Boss

I once knew a young woman ("Ellen") who, while attending college, worked as a secretary for a media company. This was back in those days when all executives had an assistant. Her boss was the archetype of a terrible boss, screaming so often that no one could tolerate working with him for long. But  Read More 
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Legal: Attacking Expert Witness Testimony in Court

Lacking clinical knowledge, it's not easy for a lawyer to attack expert witness testimony in court. Following is what can happen when a lawyer tries to "wing it." I described the psychological tests that I used to evaluate the defendant, One, the Thematic Apperception Test which was developed at Harvard University in the 1930s,  Read More 
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Postpartum Depression in Fathers

Postpartum depression is a term which has usually been applied to mothers. And who can wonder at this for, after the birth of her child, the mother’s life irrevocably changes. Her first priority must now be the welfare of her child who is wholly dependent upon her for its continued existence.

But a  Read More 
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