Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Good Bye 2013 and Hello 2014

New, Year, Gold, Reflection, CelebrateAs we wrap up the past 12 months there are so many topics that could be addressed on New Year's Eve.   Such topic could range from the most beautiful images of 2013; top political stories of 2013; most talked about non-traditional teen love stories of 2013; to the Bat Kid (how can you not get teary eyed over that one?) of 2013. 

I wanted to choose a few topics that might warrant discussion at year end.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Farewell: Greatness is in Mankind

South Africa Cape Town Monument Nelson ManLast week South Africa bid farewell to President Nelson Mandela. I was not sure if mentioning Mandela's funeral or his global meaning here in this platform had any merit because the event was well publicized.  I just did not  know what I could say to continue a healthy discussion.  But this is the discussion.  Is the inmate

Monday, November 25, 2013

Remembering Greatness... A Time When America was Great and Camelot was a Living Mythos

John F. Kennedy was assassination on November 22, 1963. 

President John F Kennedy Jacqueline KennedWhat would a tragedy of this magnitude be like today?

Imagine it being a Monday night after work.  It is a world where there is no internet, no social media, and  no social networking. There only exists three televisions networks (NBC, ABC, and CBS). What would it be like if these three television stations ended their programming around 11:00 p.m. If true, then there would be no cable programming and Ted Turner's idea of a CNN 24 hour world news station is unimaginable.

So if this world of antiquated information processing were to exist,

Monday, November 4, 2013

From the Neighborhood Bartender to the Professional Craftsman Begets the Barchologist.

Bar, Counter, Drinks, Alcoholic
Now I am going to get a lot of heat for this statement.  Do Bartenders and Psychologist, and MFT’s have very similar roles? Yes!  And to just throw myself into the fire I will argue that

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween. Wait! - Candy is Food?? So Candy Corns and Halloween Candy Gives You Vitamins?

As our sugar crazed kids go out to support the $2 Billion dollar generated-in-one-week-Halloween-industry it might be a good time to explore Halloween and its origins.  For starters, the historical significance of Halloween’s marriage to candy has only recently surfaced since the 1970’s.  For decades Christmas and Easter dominated the candy industry’s traditional events.  

Prior to this early exploitation and commercialism of

Monday, October 28, 2013

If it is true, would it change the world as we know it?

World, Earth, Space, Hands, GlobeAnd if it is true, would our government botch it up and destroy us all because of bipartisanship?  I frankly am on the fence on this one. Aliens?  What is the government’s protocol about Extraterrestrials Are they coming or are we going or are they already here or a combination thereof?  With the film Gravity by now earning $200 Million at the box office it seems that the idea of Star Trek, relating to space and space travel is becoming more of a reality than just pure fiction. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Life on the List ... Can a Boy Next Door be a Sex Offender?

So Is there a difference between the guy that exposes himself at the park to urinate and the grandfather who molests his granddaughter while babysitting?

From Brooke Shields; to Jodi Foster; to top models, our culture has taken advantage of children to promote sex.  So, is child sexuality acceptable in our culture?

After all, we have child beauty pageants where the kids parade around in glamour gowns with hair spray and make up.  With parental approval and parental supervision. We have Jusin Bieber now bouncing around showing his teeny bopper six pack?  So, is it fair to say that child sexuality is becoming normalized within the photographic arena?

Monday, August 19, 2013


Mythology has been brought to the town that doesn’t sleep.

I had the opportunity to see several Broadway shows/plays recently.  The premise of this writing is to share my experience of Motown the Musical.  I was intrigued because Motown the Musical reviews have been mixed; however, it has been consistently sold out.  First, though, I want to discuss an etiquette issue about the Broadway Theatre as a modern day art form.  This should be two separate writings but I am going to combine the two thoughts.  Also, I hope to discuss these plays at a later date.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Wait... So a little Krazy can be a good thing?!

Schizophrenia; Psychosis; Dissociative (multiple personalities) - All have the magic and riches to shift the world as we know it. 

Identity Disorder, Schizophrenia, WomanHow frequently have we associated mental illness as a negative in our American culture? NPR's Ted Radio Hour's The Unquiet Mind helps bring the discussion to the table with such provocative discussion ranging from (but not limited to) Jon Ronson's quote of "Being not normal is the new normal;" to the discussion of the narcissistic injury of having a mental illness.

I would welcome a challenge

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July! Fireworks - Barbeques - and Apple Pie!

Celebrate but be safe!   

Don't Drink and Drive.  That is a no brainer - get one person to be the non drinking driver!  

Beautiful fireworks against dark clouds above a city
Don't use fireworks illegally and without supervision. As a young kid of about 10 my 2 older cousins and brother figures used to sneak across the border and buy fireworks.  They would let me play with them and looking back on this I used to scare my cousin to death because I would hold on to the fire cracker as long as I could
before releasing it into the air - It is amazing
that I still have my eyes and ears! 

Now that the rules are out of the way I wish to reflect on

Monday, June 17, 2013

Extroverts and Introverts and Brain Functioning - Does the Introvert Have to Work Harder to Prove Themself?

A recent article on Introverts/Extroverts sheds light on the topic.

Man wearing gray suit leans face-first against gray wall with artI am constantly surprised that our culture is frequently unaware of its bias toward extraversion.  Charismatic outspoken leaders  that can easily engage us in public speaking are perceived as positive.  Often, the recluse who observes from the side is often forgotten or discarded and at times under-recognized.  For years, the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) has done wonderful research and given insight into the world of personalities.  I was able to briefly discuss this in my past life...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Aspergers/Autism Intervention and Treatment - Loving Story and a Mom's Passion With Her Son and the Cat

 I wanted to share and introduce you to Julia Romp's story about her son who had Aspergers

I heard Julia Romp's interview on Snap Judgment a few weeks ago and was just humbled and blown away. If you have a moment please listen -  nothing like a mother's love; dedication; hope; and acceptance.
If interested in general history and definitions:  Autism and Aspergers.

Read more about Dr. Strayhorn's practice and philosophy...

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Is Mt. Everest No Longer a Goal Worth Reaching.

View from Mount Everest Base Camp on the mighty summitLast week I heard an interview with Mark Jenkins on KPCC radio's the Story Series.  I would recommend listening to this interview before
you get up to do anything else.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Laughter Is Healing!

Happy Holiday Weekend: Make sure to laugh and find humor throughout the week!

Quito, May 22nd, (Andes) – “Humor has a therapeutic effect; not only does it feed the spirit, soul, and mind, but also the body through the immunity it generates. Happiness and good humor are poetry that surges from a spirit without hate,” says Lenin Moreno, the highest ranking paraplegic within the Americas.   

I didn’t know much about Vice President Moreno untilI heard him in an interview on

Monday, May 6, 2013

The New Revised DSM V - fresh off the press!

Ever Changing... The Mental Health World Will See the  DSM V Hits the Shelves May 22, 1913.
Analysts, Clinicians, Psychologist, Therapist, and Mental Health Professionals will be over joyed or in anguish over the new changes of the diagnostic DSM IV  anguish.  Many of us rely on the DSM IV to have an accurate assessment of clients.  The analyst in private practice might not be so hands on with the day-to-day usage of the DSM; however, many clinicians that are governed by county and state agencies and insurance panels rely on the "clinical bible."  So what does this mean to the consumer?

Monday, April 29, 2013

I Think the Time Has Come - Let's Redefine Sports and Who Can Play

I'll keep this short today.  I have been planning to open the discussion on same sex marriage (the Supreme Court is at work as we speak) mainly to continue the dialogue on America's beliefs and values on the subject.  But am I noticing something here?  I only bring this up because

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Is Football (or other sports) necessary?

Ahhhh! America's Roots With Football and Other Sports.

 The significance of sports can be expressed by many Americans:
Football players wearing helmets on the field during a football game
“Football is the quintessential American sport, and for good reason.  It requires a combination of power and agility, brute strength, and grace.  But most of all it requires audacity and boldness.   In other words, it requires American characteristics in order to succeed.”
As a clinician I frequently recommend physical sports activities for young boys.  Sports help with

Monday, April 22, 2013

It a Baby Booming time we live in.

Ah the Leisure (or Stressors) of Retirement: It Affects Us All - Even the Millennials.

World Map, Travel, Couple, TravelerThere used to be the magic number of 65 representing the age of retirement in the United States.  Whether you ask yourself when it’s the right time to retire or of you start seeing the signs it is time to retire you could benefit from some planning or discussion.  Can you afford it, and are your ducks in order?  Do you feel it in your gut, or are your instincts telling you something?  Are you being pulled into a direction different than your career or job? Is there some internal clock that is guiding you to show down or to relax more?  These might be indicators that retirement is an option in your life.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fresh & Easy and the Lower SES Set Back!

Fresh & Easy is Retreating From It’s British Invasion:  So What’s the Big Deal?

After taking a $1.8 billion hit (yes! Billion!) England’s Fresh and & Easy is closing its doors in California, Nevada and Arizona.  The significance?   Well, we could have a discussion of the 5,000 jobs that are to be terminated but there is a more dire issue that needs to be digested.   

Some might think there is no real impact of its closed doors; after all, it certainly was no Whole Foods (before we learned about the CEO’s philosophies and politics).  The digestion is this:  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ahhh the Male Baby Boomer and His Testerone - or is it EGO! Or is it the Generation That is Saying 50 is the New 30?

I have had several male Baby Boomer (BB) client who are having children for the first time in their 50's.  It is provocative; powerful; daunting; challenging; exciting.  There are also the apprehensions; concerns; doubts; social pressures, and medical questions that surface in session.  It is nothing new that men and women are facing a paradigm in roles and life circumstances making this a vocal discussion of whit and reflecting psychological parenting.  There is that shock value New Yorker article Is She Just Too Old For This addressing whether a woman at 50 is too old to bear children.  The celebrities with the money and resources can pull it off.  Can we, as everyday HMO customers accomplish pregnancy so late in middle-aged life? Insurance and HMO/PPO's aside, is this new trend a part of the male drive to propagate and if so is there a financial and intellectual discussion that is

Monday, April 8, 2013

We Must Always Appreciate "2 Thumbs Up" -- At Any Price

At Any Price --2 Thumbs Up 

Last Thursday we lost Roger Ebert, the Pulitzer Prize winning film critic to a battle with cancer.  So is this of social and clinical significance?   The answer is yes, but before I attempt to discuss his legacy as socially and clinically relevant I want to share an experience that led me to think about his meaning to the contemporary American psyche. 

Over the weekend I saw the film At Any Price. This film is what one might call

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Celebration and Holiday of Cesar Chavez

Many are celebrating Cesar Chavez birthday today.  For those who are we wish you well.  A few weeks ago I had a post about the changes in America:

—By 2039, racial and ethnic minorities will make up a majority of the U.S. working-age population, helping to support a disproportionately elderly white population through Social Security and other payroll taxes. More than 1 in 4 people ages 18-64 will be Latino.

With the paradigm that our country is facing (or embracing or resisting)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy Birthday to This Outlier who "Payed Her Dues" and some: A Mythological Legend in Our Time.

        Malcolm Gladwell’s explorations on the 10,000 hour rule discussed in his#1 bestselling Outlier can be applied to an Iconic figure who has been in the public since her youth.  Gladwell gives evidence as to why Paul McCartney & the Beatles and Bill Gates were bound for their respective successes.  My concept of Opportunistic Emergence which is in concurrence with Gladwell’s ideas that talent and “Genius” is important but the blend of the talent with circumstance, luck or synchronicity play a necessary part in reaching the top of excellence.  I would say that other life or God-like forces and history play a part in the advancement of greatness.  But what is so obvious and often forgotten is the 10,000 hours that is required before reaching true success.
        It isn’t just “payin’ your dues” but there is actually scientific data supporting that the human brain needs approximately 10,000 hours of a specific craft, or mastery of skill to arrive to the precipice of that craft.  Because of this needed time the scale frequently tips to the side of the rich or privileged.  If the talent has parental or community resources to support him (or her) during these prerequisite hours he can go far (piano lessons or gymnastic classes can be financially costly! – and can a parent and child invest that great deal of time and incorporate it into their daily living?).  If you follow the beginnings of most Outliers you find that they

Monday, March 25, 2013

Angle's Share and the Urban SES struggle in LA: Is there a connection?

So the film Angel’s Share is deceptively charming and is much more complex than the mythology of the Angel's share ritual. You go through the movie rooting for Paul Brannigan, the protagonist or new “it” boy of Cannes and Hollywood, all the way through the story.  In fact, one reputable review gives the film an unprecedented 95% approval rating.  Unquestionably a must see film. So, what makes this a social and psychological discussion instead of a cinematic or pop culture discussion?  Actually, the film left me with a feel-good-up-beat-life-is-great-bowl-of-cherries-let's-do-some-shots-at-a-pub kinda fell. Here is where it gets complicated.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Look Ahead Baby Boomers: There is a colorful mosiac blending in America's tapestry.

Look Ahead Baby Boomers: There is a colorful mosaic blending in America's tapestry.

—By 2039, racial and ethnic minorities will make up a majority of the U.S. working-age population, helping to support a disproportionately elderly white population through Social Security and other payroll taxes. More than 1 in 4 people ages 18-64 will be Latino.

Several years ago I stated in a graduate paper The metaphorical catching of the big fish has a process that can only happen after the relationship between the elder and youth symbolically become meshed.”  Taking this thought into a global mindset leads us to question the benefit of community. Yesterday I was reading Malcolm Gladwell’s #1 best seller Outliers in which he chronicles Roseto, Pennsylvania, a small town of Italian immigrants, in the late 1800’s. What made this town/group so fascinating was that they were all dying of “old age.”  There were no heart diseases or illness. Why? Their community was close, and their support system, extended families, and third generational bonds within nuclear families, created such a strong bond in the communal relationships that people were not just functioning better but they were happy – imagine?  What an idea! After reading an on-line article that is laced with statistics on immigration and Baby Boomers and the new face of America a thought crossed my mind.  Regardless of one’s beliefs, or politics on immigration and different cultures in the United States, we, as a country, can not move forward in a positive until we move forward with an open mind; an appreciation of our TRUE history; an appreciation for difference; an appreciation for the amends that must be made (which might be nothing more than an acknowledgement that there is noting that can be done while recognizing the past);  and a realization that “change is gonna come.”

Photo by Aaron Ang on Unsplash
Read more about Dr. Strayhorn's practice and philosophy...

Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Partrick's Day: A Celebration or a Prelude to Motor Vehicle Crashes, Sexual Assault, and Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Sunday was the annual celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Los Angeles  -- some claim as the drinking holiday of the year.  Each year during St. Patrick's day of rituals and merriment of the Irish comes the partying, the binge drinking, and the short term lack of responsible thinking.  It seems that the green beer

Friday, March 15, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Downfall of a Adolescent Sports Star Without Mentors, Support, and Structure

This story of a sports star who "could have been" great is all too common. The San Juaquin Valley of California had an agriculturally grown high school basketball star golden boy.  Robert Swift was swept up and thrown in the big leagues with big money; sadly, he was swept away from his support system and comfort zone of hometown .  Capitalism and money instantly deemed him a commodity, a product.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Divorce: Easy, Difficult, Death, Rebirth and the Process Many of Us Go Through.

The theme of ending relationships is an ongoing discussion in the divorce paradigm of contemporary America. 
Each generation has a different discussion and moral ideology about divorce and remarriage as evidenced by research and data that is available.  On a lighter note,

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Perfect Bliss: Let's talk about Michael Moss and Coca Cola

Many of us now know about sugar and its affects on behavior and its harmful ways in some to self-sooth.  And let's not forget about the country's growing addiction to caffeine. If you have a chance, I would recommend Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Moss' new book Salt Sugar Fat as he explores Coca Cola's secret formula.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Quiz: The DSM IV Code 305.10 stands for?

There is something about smoking that seems "Kewl" or "Kool" or edgy.  For many years Philip Morris' stock was listed in the Montley Fool top ten stocks for good returns and longevity.  Even Audrey Hepburn has an iconic photo smoking in the classic 60's film Breakfast at Tiffany's.  Our baseball heroes chew tobacco regularly on and off the field.  And even our president and most powerful leader of the free world has been known to indulge as evidenced by photos that surface despite his clandestine style to the habit; or must we say, addiction.  The tobacco industry doesn't seem to  promote the everyday Debi's of the world.

So, why am I bringing this up?  Just because.  For the general population your cigarette smoking, and its related habits, might be causing functional impairments. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Birthdays --Meshed With Clinical and Social

Happy Random Birthdays!   

For those of you who are the scholarly:  20th century philosopher Paul Ricoeur's birthday is today.  Or said another way?  His works are responsible for me having a dissertation that allowed many of us to have a phenomenological description with hermeneutics.  Or, discussing Motown and Baby Boomers and the link to African roots and rituals with mythology was doable because of his works!



And let's not forget the African-American contralto Marian Anderson arguably the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century. In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused permission for Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall. The incident placed Anderson into the spotlight of the international community. With the aid of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Anderson performed a critically acclaimed open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. She sang before a crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions. Anderson continued to break barriers for black artists in the United States, becoming the first black person, American or otherwise, to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on January 7, 1955.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Aging in Hollywood is Finally Golden: Dame Shirley Bassey Receives New Career Validation.

There was Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson doing her Jennifer Holliday rendition of And I'm Telling You (standing ovation); there was Adelle’s  Skyfall; and then there was legendary Streisand's The Way We Were. But Dame Shirley Bassey made her debut at the Oscars. A new generation learned what the Streisand's of the world strive for. Entertainment singing perfection who defines how a griotte channels to the divine. Amazing: Dame Shirley Bassey!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

For Those of You in Relationships?  

Internal check-ins; as well as, collaborating with your partner breeds healthy relationships.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Oscars are Coming!

Few of us know the history of the Academy Awards.  It could be argued that it represents a post modern construct to our connection to the mythological gods, glamour, and mortal earthbound stars. 

As the Oscars are presented on February 24, 2013 would it serve us to recognize a polarity in our modern day culture ranging from domestic discussions of gun control in our president's home town a fallen modern day mythological god named Blade Runner?  So, with such international trials all over the globe; maybe... just maybe it can be a time to stop and forget and just honor artists who have something to say - regardless of their neurotic indulgence or social impact. 

And the winner goes to....