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Leadership

We often see assertions about what good leadership entails.  Recently I got a marketing email from someone claiming to help leaders develop “mindfulness, selflessness, and compassion.”  These are certainly good qualities, but leaders may also have to be, depending on the situation, perceptive, astute about whom to trust and for what, strategic in prioritizing initiatives, decisive, and in some ways ruthless.   What such claims about essentials in leadership miss is that leadership doesn’t operate in a vacuum.  A leader … Continue reading

Risk of Over-Focus on One Spouse in Couple Therapy

Arthur C. Nielsen, MD, in his “A Roadmap for Couple Therapy” (Routledge, 2016), observes that “Another difficulty unique to couple treatment is that if the therapist spends too much time and too many consecutive sessions focusing on the symptoms or defenses of one spouse, he or she may feel (understandably) that the therapy has become too tilted against him or her.  In such cases, the therapist may have to sacrifice thematic continuity in order to sustain a neutral position and … Continue reading

System, Method and Experience in Psychotherapy and Consultation

Therapists and teachers often describe their approach to psychotherapy as a system or method, such as cognitive-behavioral or psychoanalytic.  Many other approaches, when you look into them, are some sort of inspired hybrid, such as Emotion-Focused Therapy, Internal Family Systems or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.  My approach to therapy, like my approach to consultation with therapists, doesn’t rely on a system or a method, although it is methodical and systematic in its own way.  It places experience, and the observation … Continue reading

It Doesn’t Take A Sufi…

A young man in another state contacted me for online consultation, having learned that I’d written about Sufism, particularly Idries Shah’s work.  He was reading Shah’s books, and wanted to include this interest, as well as other issues in his life, in our discussion.  I made it clear that I am neither a Sufi nor a spiritual teacher of any kind, and that such information about spiritual psychology as I’d gathered over the years was not he same as being … Continue reading

“Which You Are You?” by Pat Williams

I’m not a “one size fits all” psychologist—quite the opposite—but one of my favorite one-stop teachings about human nature and therapy is “Which You Are You?” by Pat Williams.  Originally released as a spoken CD by Human Givens Publishing, in the United Kingdom, “Which You Are You” is now available as an mp3 from the Human Givens website, https://www.humangivens.com/category/cds-mp3s/mp3s. Journalist, playwright, author, storyteller, and therapist, Williams speaks, in “Which You Are You?,”  both as a therapist to other therapists, and … Continue reading